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Rating 3.5 (141 votes)

Sydney Opera House

Listed under Contemporary Architecture in Sydney, Australia.

Photo of Sydney Opera House
Photo by claire
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Significantly more graceful and elegant than the rest of Sydney, the Opera House is beautiful from all angles, and worth looking at from all angles as well.

Coming into Circular Quay on the ferry shows the Opera House off to its best. Its custom built tiles have an iridescent look in the morning and evening light, and the rest of the cut glass harbour and the city behind compliment the building perfectly, making it look a thousand times more attractive than anything else around (except for Sydney's great natural asset the harbour.).

The Opera House interior is more dated than its timeless and pristine exterior. The stark concrete details of the entrance hall were ultra-modern at the time but now look more like a bus station; however, further inside in the performance spaces the feeling of graceful spacious understatement returns, so don't be too disappointed by your first impression as you enter.

One of the best experiences to have in Sydney is a visit to the Opera Bar under the Opera House concourse - the view, framed by the sailed sides and the less graceful Harbour Bridge, some great live entertainment, and good food and drink make it one of the experiences I miss most about living in Sydney.

Written by  Kat Mackintosh.

Other expert and press reviews

“A Landmark of the New World”

Decades before Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Bilbao was even a messy sketch, the first impractical architectural landmark of the modern era was built in Sydney. Gehry himself said, when Utzon won the prestigious American Pritzker prize in 2003: “It changed t… Read more...

Written by press. Full Article from The Guardian

“Excerpt from 'Our Cultural Clipper'”

By Thomas Keneally for The Guardian First published October 15, 2007 When I was a child the point of Sydney Cove on which the Opera House stands was the Fort Macquarie Tram Depot. It was characteristic of us Sydneysiders to put a tram depot there, beca… Read more...

Written by press. Full Article from The Guardian

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

An architectural wonder, it only takes one event to realise that the design has more use then just creating a striking, unique skyline. The acoustics are incredible and whether you're watching an opera, a pop singer, a comedian, a play or an experimental performance piece - you will be in awe of the atmosphere it creates. And you don't have to break the budget - you'll always find something that suits your taste and bank balance.

the shells are very hard to construct..unique..but amazingly its already done and have been awarded by unesco..congratulation john utzon and others who involved..for australian..proud of that landmark and care of it..lol

Sydney Opera House

Recognised as one of the world’s three most iconic modern buildings along with the Eiffel Tower and Empire State Building, and as iconic for Australia as the pyramids for Egypt and Colosseum for Rome, the symbolism is of a ship at full sail. Costing $AU102m, the building was constructed over a twelve year period, Utzon needing 3 years after winning, just to fit the design in with current technological capabilities. The roof comprises 2194 pre-cast concrete sections weighing 15 tons, held in place by 350km of tensioned steel cable. Sydney Harbour Bridge helps set off the building, although it can literally overshadow the Opera House as the sun comes up. Begun 1957 by Architect John Utzon and completed August 1973 under the direction of Sir Peter Hall.

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