The Final Stage

Sydney Opera House

Stage Three of the construction of the Sydney Opera House, the interior spaces including the halls, and glass walls.

"The best thing would in my opinion be to stop all building when the shells are finished, and let Peter Hall or other persons build an unpretending new concert hall on another site far apart from Bennelong Point. It would leave the Utzon structure unspoiled and be much cheaper. It would also leave all possibilities open for the future ..."
– Jørn Utzon's former teacher and highly respected Danish architect, Eiler Rasmussen, 1966

This statement, from a letter to the New South Wales Minister for Public Works, Davis Hughes, who was responsible for finishing the project of the Sydney Opera House, was one of many dissenting voices that rang out after Utzon's withdrawal from the project near the end of Stage Two.

For nearly two years the monumental sculpture of the roof and podium stood devoid of interiors and more than a few Sydneysiders joined with a significant international petition for either Utzon to be returned or the sculpture to remain as it then stood.

Nevertheless, with a panel of government-appointed architects chosen to complete the project, including design architect Peter Hall – whose designs for the halls and foyers can be seen today – the enormous task known as Stage Three, including the interior spaces and glass walls of the building, was begun in 1968 and completed in 1973.

From left, design architects Peter Hall, David Littlemore and Lionel Todd were charged with finishing the Sydney Opera House in the wake of Utzon's withdrawal from the project.

Crane machinery provides support as the scaffolds and formwork for both the glass walls and the Concert Hall are installed.

The Drama Studio today.

At the time of its opening, the Concert Hall was celebrated for its world-class acoustics, and in 2004 once again attained a high ranking in acoustic specialist Leo Beranek's index of 58 Concert Halls across the world. The acoustic clouds that can be seen in this photograph are used to provide a basic acoustic foldback to the stage.

Credits: Story

Created by Sam Doust and the
Sydney Opera House GCI Team

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Contributors:
Sydney Opera House Wolanski Archive Collection
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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