The Ultrabook Project: The Sydney Opera House
When will.i.am and the team from the Ultrabook Project hit the ground in Australia, it was no surprise that one of their first stops was to Sydney’s most famous landmark. Egypt has the pyramids, Rome has the Colosseum and Sydney has its Opera House.
With an estimated 6 million plus visitors each year, The Sydney Opera House is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world. So famous in fact, that in 2007 it was amongst the 20 finalists in the New Seven Wonders of the World project—a distinction that inspired an opera to be written about it called, “Eighth Wonder.” The Opera House conducts almost 3,000 events each year to an international audience of over 2 million people.
From its humble beginnings in the “Opera House Design Competition,” The Sydney Opera House known as one of the most distinctive buildings of the 20th century.
Here are some interesting facts about this famous building:
- In 1956, the Australian government announced an international “Opera House Design Competition” design contest for a “multipurpose auditorium to seat around 3,000, with a smaller hall for around 1,200”
- From the 233 designs submitted in the competition, the sketches of Danish Architect Jorn Utzon were selected because they “differed from almost all other entries in having the two auditoria arranged side by side on the site and uniquely conceived as a giant symbolic sculpture”
- The prize for the “Opera House Design Competition?” A 5,000 pounds cash prize.
- In 1957 when Utzon was commissioned to build the Opera House, the original estimate for construction was $7.2 million. The final cost? $102 million
- In 1959, the foundation of the structure was completed…3 years before the actual designs were created
- The base model of the Opera House took 7 years to build: the actual building took 17 years to complete
- The first opera ever performed the Opera House was War and Peace, which is based on the Tolstoy novel of the same name
- Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the Sydney Opera House to the public, on October 20, 1973. She was treated a fireworks and a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9
- The Opera House is 183 meters (600 feet) tall, about 120 meters (388 feet) wide, and rests on 4.5 acres of land.
- The Opera House’s roof is constructed of 1,056,000 self-cleaning, glazed, white granite tiles imported from Sweden
- Sydney Opera House Grand Organ is the largest mechanical tracker action organ in the world, containing over 10,000 pipes