Reviewing The Research To The Sydney Opera House Construction Essay

The undermentioned assignment will endeavor to show research done on the building of the Sydney Opera House. The research will be broken down and discussed under five chief headers:

Undertaking Overview/Background – giving the overall facts from the events taking up to the building of the opera house.

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Undertaking Team/Stakeholders – this subdivision of the assignment will sketch the assorted stakeholders which influenced the undertaking and their relationship to one another.

Construction – this subdivision presents the facts from the building of the Sydney Opera House, and is subdivided farther into three parts in line with the existent building of the Sydney Opera House ( stages 1, 2, and 3 ) .

Undertaking Costs – a dislocation of the fiscal cost of the building of Sydney Opera House and the cost of building undertakings to upgrade the Opera House after its gap in 1973 will be represented by two saloon charts and one pie chart.

Executive Summary – this subdivision summarises the fiscal bequest of the Sydney Opera House.

Conclusion – A decision will be made based on the facts presented in the executive drumhead subdivision of this assignment and besides on the overall narrative of the Sydney Opera House.

Figure 1. Jorn Utzon gives a imperativeness conference ( 1963 ) .

Project Overview / Background

During the old ages predating 1957, the metropolis of Sydney, Australia had no chief music/cultural locale. After his assignment as Chief Conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, in 1947, Sir Eugene Goosens told newsmans about his programs for the creative activity of a hall suited for opera every bit good as orchestral public presentations. However, there was no motion on the issue, until 1954 when the Australian Prime Minister of the twenty-four hours, Joseph Cahill, set up a commission to raise financess for the undertaking. A competition was launched to see who would plan the edifice, which would embrace a construction that contained two theaters within it, – a symphonic music concert hall capable of siting three to five 1000s people and a smaller hall for play, chamber and music narrations, and capable of siting up to twelve 100 people.

After two hundred and 30 three entries, Jorn Utzon, a 30 eight twelvemonth old Danish Architect, out of the blue won the competition. Although he had won architectural competitions antecedently, it was his first non domestic undertaking. Utzon designed a edifice that when built would do an iconic architectural statement, a one off and wholly original, giving the visual aspect of typical white gross revenues. It was considered mastermind by the Judgess ( Sir Leslie Martin, Professor of Architecture Cambridge University, and Eero Saarinen, American designer ) , as nil like it had been designed before.

Cahill ‘s authorities was so eager to get down the undertaking that they arranged for the applied scientists, Ove Arup and Partners, to set out stamps for the daiss, without equal on the job drawings. When building really began in 1959, Utzon was still working on the concluding programs. The building of this undertaking would stand for major jobs, as it was still unknown whether the design was structurally executable. The Australian authorities would besides heap farther force per unit area on the undertaking by altering demands for the edifice after building had commenced. The authorities required that the design be altered to integrate four theaters into the design, which would finally and more late become five. Government fundraising was done through Opera House lotteries, to run into the original estimation of seven million dollars, which it was thought would be plenty to convey this iconic edifice to completion. This amount was to be outrageously exceeded along with the original undertaking clip frame of four old ages, which will be discussed during the class of this assignment. A 5.5 acre site, which was antecedently used as an unsightly tram storage barn and which juts northerly into Sydney Harbours port Jackson, was allocated for what would go Australia ‘s most celebrated construction ( Sydney Opera House Construction 2010 ) .

Project Team / Stakeholders

For any undertaking to be considered successful, the undertaking must run into all the stakeholder outlooks. All the of import determinations during the initiating, planning and executive phases are made by these stakeholders. Stakeholders in any big undertaking would include:

The undertaking client – individual or group whose demands and demands drive the undertaking and provides the necessary support for the undertaking.

The undertaking leader – caput of the undertaking, designs, programs, controls and leads the undertaking.

The patron – oversees the undertaking, acts as affair between the assorted direction squads and the undertaking leader, and maintains project precedence.

Project squad members – participate in the undertaking direction procedure, contribute accomplishments and attempt as required.

The chief persons and administrations actively involved in the building of the Sydney Opera House were as follows:

Undertaking Stakeholders


Australian Government

New South Wales ( NSW )

Project Team Members

Sydney Opera House

Executive Committee


Project Team Members

Public Works

Department ( PWD )

Project Sponsor/Team member

Ove Arup & A ; Spouses

Main Engineering Contractor

Undertaking Leader

Utzon and his Architectural & A ; Design squad

Undertaking Leaderships

Hall, Todd & A ; Littlemore

Architectural Consortium replaced Utzon ( 1966 )

Project Team Members

Building Contractor

Hornibrook Ltd.

Project Team Members

Assorted Advisers

Australian authorities NSW ( New South Wales ) were the undertaking customer/sponsors and therefore the chief stakeholder in the undertaking. The building of the Opera House would take 10 extra old ages than originally forecast, and at that place would many political alterations during this clip. These politicians would see and act upon the undertakings building in different ways. They would include:

Joe Cahill – NSW Labour Premier 1952 – 1959.

Robert J Hefron – NSW Labour Premier 1959 – 1964.

John B Renshaw – NSW Labour Premier 1964 – 1965.

Norman Ryan – Labour Minister of Public Works 1959 – 1965.

Robert J Askin – NSW Liberal Premier 1965 -1975.

Davis Hughes – Broad Minister of Public Works 1965 – 1975.

Robert Carr – NSW Labour Premier 1995.

Ove Arup and Partners were the technology house employed as the chief undertaking superintendents and coordinators ( 1959-1973 ) .

Jorn Utzon the undertaking leader ( 1959-1966 ) , employed a big architectural squad, which included the designers Hall Todd and Littlemore who would subsequently replace him.

Hall Todd and Littlemore replaced Utzon as undertaking leader after his surrender in 1966.

The Sydney Opera House Executive Commitee ( SOHEC ) which included representatives from Sydney University, Australian Broadcasting Commission ( ABC ) , and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra ( SSO ) .

The Contractor Dundas Corbet Gore – Director of Construction, Hornibrook Limited.

The Consultants employed during the opera houses building included the followers:

Rider Hunt and Partners – Measure Surveyors. Villhelm Lassen Jordon – acoustics ( Denmark ) . Lothar Cremer, Werner Gabler – Accoustics ( Berlin ) .

Balslev and Partners, Julius Poole and Gibson – Electrical Services Engineering.

Steenson and Varming – Mechanical Servicess.

The Public Works Department employed three chief designers during the period of building who were each involved during the building by stand foring the authoritiess involvements. They included:

Cobden Parks ( during the competition period 1935 – 1958 ) , Ted Farmer ( replacement to Park 1958 – 1973 ) and Bill Wood affair designer. ( The Saga of the Sydney Opera House 2010 ) .


After the initial construct of the Sydney Opera House the original clip frame given to the undertaking would be four old ages. The building of the Sydney Opera House would in existent fact take 14 old ages to finish. These 14 old ages would embrace three phases:

Phase 1 – Construction of the dais.

Phase 2 – Construction of the roof.

Phase 3 – Insides.

Phase 1

Despite reserves from Utzon building Begin in March 1959. Ove Arup and spouses moving on behalf of the Australian authorities, as the chief contractor, employed the building company Civil and Civic to present phase one of the building undertaking, the dais. The early start to the undertaking, which was forced upon Utzon would hold effects, even at this early phase. The dais columns would turn out excessively weak to back up the roof construction, as the method of building for the roof was yet to be conceived and mastered. It would in fact take until February 1963 to finish this debatable first phase of building, with projected costs now lifting to $ 29.5 million.

Figure 2. An aerial position of Sydney Harbours Port Jackson, during the early phases of building.

Phase 2

Utzon ‘s early design for the roof incorporated the thought of utilizing a plane curve formed by the intersection of a right handbill cone and a plane analogue to an component of the curve ( Web definition of a parabola, 2010 ) . In other words the shells, would take on the signifier of a series of parabolas, supported by concrete ribs. The solution to the job of the roofs building came aided through the first usage of computing machines, which were used to analyze the forces and pressures the roof would be subjected to.

The reply would be to build the shells as subdivisions of a domain. These subdivisions would unite to do the precast hollow ribbed vault. In entire the roof would necessitate 2,194 precast concrete subdivisions, with each weighing up to 15.5 metric tons, held together by 350 kilometers of tensioned steel overseas telegram. Although some contention still remains as to who came up with the concluding solution for the roofs building, it is widely believed that it was achieved through the clever coaction of both Utzon and Ove Arup and spouses. The shells were constructed by Hornibrook Ltd who would besides build phase 3 of the undertaking. With the twelvemonth 1965 coming to a stopping point, estimated costs had now spiralled to $ 49.4 million ( Sydney Opera House Construction 2010 ) .

Figure 3. A precast subdivision of the roof is guided into place.

Phase 3

As the solution to the method of the roofs building was mastered, it became clear the dais could non back up the roofs weight and would hold to be demolished and rebuilt. The holds suffered at this phase of the undertaking lead to mounting force per unit area on Utzon and the undertaking. This major hold and several other reverses led to Utzon and the undertaking having bad imperativeness. With public frights turning as to the concluding cost, freshly elected Premier Robert Askin attempted to coerce Utzon to vacate by keep backing payments. Furthermore, Askin moved the undertaking under the legal power of the office of public plants, increasing force per unit area on Utzon. In 1966 Utzon could no longer pay his staff. He resigned, and Hall Todd and Littlemore, replaced Utzon, and took on the undertaking of finishing the concluding phase of the undertaking ( A Position on all Cities 2010 ) .

At this phase, the undertaking had cost $ 22.9 million dollars, which was a far call from the original and entire projection of $ 7 million. However, the entire cost of $ 102 million agencies that at this phase the undertaking was still merely at a one-fourth of its concluding cost. With Utzon gone alterations were made to his internal design. Utzon had designed the chief hall to present opera and concerts, and his minor hall would be for phase productions merely. This thought was now scrapped and the chief hall became entirely the Concert Hall, and the minor hall, known as the Opera Theatre, would ease both opera and concert dance. The consequence of this determination was that the Opera Theatre was excessively little to present big scale opera and concert dance. Utzons design for 2,000 seats was besides deemed excessively small and now became 3,000, while his plyboard corridors were besides discounted. Furthermore, a library and film were besides added. Sydney Opera House would take a farther seven old ages to be completed and eventually opened on the 20th October 1973.

Undertaking Costss

The undertaking costs are represented below by two saloon charts. The first tabular array and saloon chart represent a dislocation for the cost of building between the old ages ( 1959 – 1973 ) . The 2nd tabular array and saloon chart give an overview of cost for extra work completed on the Opera House after its gap in October 1973. A pie chart will demo the combined costs of the undertaking under Utzon ( phase 1 & A ; 2 ) , after Utzon ( present 3 ) and the assorted phases which commenced after 1988.

Table 1. Entire Outgo ( Construction 1959-1973 )

Undertaking Breakdown

$ in Millions

Original Estimate


Costss Under Utzon ( Stage 1 & A ; 2 )


Costss After Utzon ( Stage 3 )


Entire Cost


Table 2. Entire Outgo ( Construction 1988 – 1998 )

Undertaking Breakdown

$ in Millions

Forecourt Refurbishment


Upgrade 1 Exterior /I inside


Underground Car park


Theatre Works


Upgrade 2 Exterior / Interior


Entire Cost


( The Wolanski Foundation 2010 ) .

Executive Summary

The facts presented in the outgo subdivision of this assignment, let the undertaking with all its fiscal defects to be viewed with lucidity. The undermentioned facts will besides enable a decision to be drawn:

The original completion day of the month set by the authorities was 26th January 1963 ( Australia Day ) .

Hence, the undertaking was completed 10 old ages tardily.

The undertaking came in 14 times over budget.

The undermentioned facts should besides be considered, the Sydney Opera House:

Is an iconic construction, celebrated the universe over, and included on the UNESCO universe heritage list.

Provides guided Tourss to 200,000 people each twelvemonth.

Has an one-year audience of 2 million for its performing artists each twelvemonth.

Was paid for by the Australian populace who purchased $ 10 tickets in a series of lotteries ( Australian Government, Sydney Opera House 2010 ) .


A successful undertaking will be brought in on clip and under budget. Under these rigorous standards it can be viewed that the building of the Sydney Opera House was a dramatic failure. The facts, as discussed provide this grounds in black and white. However, the narrative of the Sydney Opera House is anything but black and white. The Sydney Opera House is a arresting piece of architecture, a one off and complete master and it can be argued it is for these grounds that Utzons studies were selected as the competition victor in the first topographic point. Furthermore, it was the Australian authoritiess avidity to get down the undertaking, which finally lead to the first major faltering block – building began on the dais that would back up a roof ( a construction that had ne’er earlier been attempted ) , which Utzon had non been given equal clip to finish.

Through promotions in undertaking direction patterns, it is now known the first phase in any major undertaking is to measure the undertaking at manus. This procedure should take topographic point good in progress of the first phases of building. Critical considerations at this phase should be, is the undertaking touchable – can it be delivered on clip? , what are the hazards involved? , are the necessary fiscal resources available? , the restraints of the undertaking must be considered, – what is the occupation specification? , and what are the possible booby traps? On analyzing these inquiries it can be said that the building of the Sydney Opera House was doomed to fiscal failure right from the start.

There are two sides to every narrative and in this peculiar instance it is possible to construe this undertaking as successful. The Sydney Opera House has come to stand for Australia, in the same manner that the pyramids represent Egypt. Sydney and Australia have benefited from the Opera House as a locale and as a symbol. It is a working edifice which earns an income from the estimated 200,000 guided Tourss every twelvemonth and from its one-year audience of two million people who pay to see public presentations. In fact, it is possible to reason that a undertaking can be delivered on clip, under budget, present 100 % of its range and still be a failure. In the instance of a edifice such as the Sydney Opera House, it is people who define success or failure and from this it can be argued that this edifice is a success based entirely on its popularity with visitants coming from all over the universe ( World Heritage 2010 ) .

In March 2003, Utzon was awarded an honorary doctor’s degree by the University of Sydney for his work on the Sydney Opera House and he besides received the Pritzker Prize, Architectures highest honor that same twelvemonth. Utzon had eventually received acknowledgment for his accomplishments as an designer. The fiscal failure of the Sydney Opera House was a complex issue affecting many failures which took root right at the beginning, through deficiency of equal undertaking be aftering definition and foresight. Utzon was employed as the undertaking designer which is a separate subject to project direction.


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