Construction Analysis of The Opera House

Modified: 26th Jul 2018
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The Opera House was built and is in Sydney, Australia and boasts to be one of the new seven wonders of the world. The Opera House is a world class performing arts center and has become the symbol of Sydney and Australia. A man by the name of Jon Utzon is the man who is responsible for the design of the facility. The facility was built from 1959 to 1973 and was built by more than ten thousand men. Mr. Utzon who was the chief architect of the Opera House in February 1966, resigned after a new Liberal government was elected. The Minister of Works had refused him payments and in 1973 the Opera House was officially open by Queen Elizabeth II of England.

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The distinctive construction of the roof upon the Opera House is made up of interlocking shells. There are two main halls inside of the Opera house which are arranged side by side, the length of the axes is slightly inclined from each other which generally is running north-south. The auditoria of the Opera house face away from the harbour, and has the stages located between itself, the city and the audience. (Porter, 2014) The Forecourt of the Opera House has a wide-open space for people to ascend the stairs to the podium. These stairway is known as the Monumental Steps, which can be seen leading from the Forecourt to the two main performance venues. The stairway is a great for ceremonial purposes as it is nearly 100 meters wide. The vaulted roof shells that have been placed upon the Opera house as was designed by the architect by the name of Utzon along with other well know engineers, Ove Arup & Partners helped come up with the final shape of the shells which were taken from the idea that represented a sphere. Each shell is made up of cast rib segments that are made from a concrete pedestal and rising towards ridged beam. (Porter, 2013) The process of the shells includes a faced in glazed off-white tiles, while the podium itself is made up of clad earth-toned which were reconstructed with granite panels. The glass walls of the Opera house are a special feature of the building as it was constructed with modifications done by Peter Hall who was Utzon’s successor. Below is some information about the perimeters and dimensions of the Opera House. The building is roughly one-hundred and eighty-five meters in length and one-hundred and twenty meters in width. The highest point that can be found in Opera House is located atop the roof. (Choice Reviews Online, 2007) The point of the roof is sixty-seven meters above sea-level which amounts to the same height of a twenty to twenty-two story building. The roofs of the Opera House are roughly made from two-thousand one-hundred and ninety-four pre-cast concrete sections. Each of these sections weigh up to fifteen tons each and are held together by three-hundred kilometer worth of tensioned steel cable. When this cable is laid from end to end, it would be able to stretch all the way to Canberra. (Murray, 2016)  The roof is covered with more than one million tiles where were made by Swedish company Höganas. The building itself has a total of six-thousand two-hundred and twenty-five square meters of glass that covers the building and a total of six-hundred and forty-five kilometers of electric cables that run throughout the entire building. The glass of the Opera House a unique quality to it that most of the glass that is used within Australia because the glass that was used to aid the construction of the Opera House was ordered directly from France. The entire site of the Opera house covers a grand total area space of roughly five hectares. The total area of the Opera House is so vast that if you that you could place a total of eight 747 Jet Liners side by side and there would still be space available. Within the Sydney Opera House, the building is divided into a total of; one concert hall, three theatres, a studio as well as a recording studio, a multipurpose room and an outdoor forecourt. (Murray, 2016)

  • The Concert Hall: can seat up to two thousand guests, it features a high vaulted ceiling, it is a white birch timber paneling, which also boasts the world’s largest mechanical tracker-action pipe organ. (Porter, 2013)
  • The Joan Sutherland Theatre: It is a proscenium theatre that can seat up to one thousand five hundred guests in one seating. The Sydney Opera Australia house was known as The Australian Ballet. Until 16 October 2012 it was known as the Opera Theatre. (Porter,2014)
  • The Drama Theatre: is capable of sitting up to five hundred guests, it was used by the Sydney Theatre Company as well as other dance and theatrical presenters. (Porter, 2014)
  • The Playhouse: It is an end-stage theatre with three hundred and ninety-four seats.
  • The Studio: It has flexible space with two hundred and eighty permanent seats (some of the seats is adjustable) and a maximum capacity of four hundred guests, depending on how the room is organized
  • Utzon Room: It is a small multi-purpose venue that hosts many events such as parties or a cooperate function. (Porter, 2014)
  • The Recording Studio: It small area that is allocated for those who would like to compose music
  • There is also the Outdoor Forecourt: it is a flexible open-air venue that has a wide range of rearrangement options, it also does use the monumental stairs for sitting if need be. There are also other areas at the Opera House, there is the Northern and Western foyers, both are used for performances as well as other occasions. (Murray, 2016)

The largest of the seven venues in the Opera House is the concert hall which seats up two thousand six hundred and seventy-nine people at a time. The smallest room inside the Opera House is the Utzon room, which seats up to two hundred and ten people while The Concert Hall’s seats up to two thousand people and boasts the Grand Organ, which is the largest mechanical version of this instrument in the world which has ten thousand one hundred and fifty-four pipes which took ten years to build. (Choice reviews online, 2007)

An interesting fact about The Opera House is that is has a total of a thousand separate rooms with more than fifteen thousand light bulbs, hosts more than three thousand events annually has accommodates more than two hundred thousand tourists each year. Though the finally product looks amazing, there was a lot of hard work, time and money that was put in to making the Sydney Opera House what it is today. Here is a break down what it cost, the time that was spent to construct. (Murray, 2016) The total cost, just for the construction alone was $102M AUD which was funded mostly by Australian Government. There was also a point during the construction that the government refused to continue funding the construction but was protested by many to finish the construction. The total time it took to construct the building was from 1959 to 1973 which is a total of 4 years with more than two hundred thousand workers that worked on the building the Opera House each year (Porter, 2014).

As you can see, the Sydney Opera House would stand atop as one of the wonders of the world. Its unique design and distinctiveness is what makes it stand out from the any of the other wonders in the world. It was built upon many people, and it took a lot of time as well as money to construct the Sydney Opera House. It is visited by more than a million tourists each year and is hosts over three thousand events each year.


“Building a Masterpiece: The Sydney Opera House.” Choice Reviews Online 44.09 (2007): n. pag. Opera House Facts. Sydney Opera House. Web

Agency, D. T. (2016, October 04). Sydney Opera House. Retrieved March 24, 2017, from

Celebrating the history of the Sydney Opera House. (2013, October 22). Retrieved March 24, 2017, from

Concert Hall. (n.d.). Retrieved March 23, 2017, from

Murray, L. (2016, December 13). Sydney Opera House. Retrieved March 24, 2017, from

Porter, L. (2016, February 04). Sydney Opera House: 40 fascinating facts. Retrieved March 23, 2017, from

Porter, Lizzie. “Sydney Opera House.” The Telegraph. The Telegraph, 24 Oct. 2013. Web. 9 Feb. 2017.

Sydney Opera House. (n.d.). Retrieved February 09, 2017, from


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