The Fifth Facade: 1966-67

As Stage Two of the construction of the Sydney Opera House neared its end, its most iconic feature, the roof of vaulted shells and glistening tiles, came strikingly into focus.

By Sydney Opera House

Looking north over Sydney Harbour and the construction site at Bennelong Point (1964) by State Library of New South WalesSydney Opera House

Aerial view during construction of Stage Two (2) (1965) by State Library of New South WalesSydney Opera House

Looking through the mighty Shell A2 at the Maritime Services Board, later to become the Museum of Contemporary Art (1965) by Jørn Utzon, State Library of New South WalesSydney Opera House

Guiding the hoist line of a crane from the top of the erection arch (1965) by Max Dupain, State Library of New South WalesSydney Opera House

From left, Shell A1, Shell A2, Shell A5 (1966) by Max Dupain, State Library of New South WalesSydney Opera House

Onsite parking during construction (1965) by Max Dupain, State Library of New South WalesSydney Opera House

"Men working."

The so-called erection arch in action, used to assemble the ribs of the shells in place (1965) by Max Dupain, State Library of New South WalesSydney Opera House

Looking west at the construction site (1966) by Max Dupain, State Library of New South WalesSydney Opera House

Installation of the Major Hall stage machinery (1965) by Max DupainSydney Opera House

The cathedral-like ceiling of the vaulted roof shells (1967) by Max Dupain, State Library of New South WalesSydney Opera House

Major Hall, original stage machinery (1965) by Max DupainSydney Opera House

Under the vaulted roof (1967) by Max Dupain, State Library of New South WalesSydney Opera House

Looking up at the intersection between side and main shells, Max Dupain, State Library of New South Wales, 1966, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Job 1112 (abridged), Arup and New South Wales Government, 1968, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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This excerpt describes the application of the tiles to the shells of the roof.

Gluing the tiles in place, State Library of New South Wales, 1965, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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A worker inspects a tile lid as it dries under the Monumental Steps (1964) by Max Dupain, State Library of New South WalesSydney Opera House

Concert Hall, early construction, Max Dupain, 1969, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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Job 1112 (abridged), Arup and New South Wales Government, 1968, From the collection of: Sydney Opera House
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This excerpt details the finishing of the roof shells in 1966.

Stage Two, the roof, completed (1967) by Max Dupain, State Library of New South WalesSydney Opera House

Sydneysiders on the western promenade of Circular Quay (1970) by Max Dupain, State Library of New South WalesSydney Opera House

Credits: Story

Created by Sam Doust and the
Sydney Opera House GCI Team

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Contributors:
Arup
Estate of David Moore
State Library of New South Wales

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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