Sydney Opera House * Sydney * Jorn Utzon
The Sydney Opera House (1973) has become the international symbol of not only Sydney Harbor, but all of Australia, outranking such natural features as the Great Barrier Reef, the Outback and Ayres Rock (Uluru). Even in the cultural society of opera houses, the Sydney Opera House is a star, hosting more events than any other performing arts center in the world. Although commonly referred to as eggshells or even sails, the building's distinctive roofs are actually modeled on orange segments. The building was considered extremely radical at the time it was proposed (1957), and a huge controversy followed the announcement of Utzon's design. He insisted that the roof pieces could only be constructed by one company (not on site), and then moved to the location. The press was so severe that Utzon was actually forced out of the project and never returned to Australia. The building was completed under the supervision of Peter Hall, and has since changed the image of the entire country, pushing Sydney and Australia into a leading position in the arts. One of the most fascinating aspects of the building's popularity from a tourism perspective is that it attracts millions of visitors, most of which have no interest in opera. Frank Gehry has said that, "It is the first time in our lifetime that an epic piece of architecture has gained such universal presence.

Inspired? Want to build your own? Here's a paper cut-out version of the Opera House that you can print out and construct all by yourself.
If you guessed...
the Hollywood Bowl, you were at least thinking it was a place for performances. And yes, most of the structure of this building is also white, but no matter which version of the bowl you thought of (if you know the history of the bowl, you know it has been worked on and remodeled many times), it still doesn't quite look like the Opera House. 
If you guessed...
the Taj-Mahal, again, you were thinking about white buildings. But really, you should be too ashamed to admit that's what you were thinking of instead of the Opera House.




 geography leisure & recreation architecture, art & design tourism & attractions facilities landscape architecture & urban planning putting it all together (the spectacular)

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