Today we begin our look at Sydney, Australia, with one of Sydney’s most recognizable landmarks — the Sydney Opera House. I’m sure you recognize this iconic structure, but you may not know the protracted and often bitter struggle behind the façade. The Sydney Opera House was under construction for over 14½ years and cost nearly 14.6 times the original budget. That’s almost 11 years beyond the projected completion date and, in today’s currencies, the cost works out to nearly A$900 million/$790 million U.S.
For that money the people of Sydney got a Concert Hall, an Opera Theatre, a Drama Theatre, a Playhouse, a Sound Studio for contemporary music, a Recording Studio, the Utzon Room (a party and function venue for rent; named after the designer of the Opera House, Danish architect Jørn Utzon), and the enormous open-air venue known as the Sydney Opera House Forecourt.
Most of the cost and construction time overruns can be attributed to the complexity of the enormous shells that roof the structure. It wasn’t until two years into the construction project that Mr. Utzon finally figured out how to engineer them. In the end, Mr. Utzon scrapped his original elliptical roof design and went with what basically amounts to fourteen shells that, if pieced together, would form a sphere.
So, let’s take a look at the rest of today’s gallery: