Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

I study people, technology, and the worlds they make

Sydney Opera House

During my layover in Sydney, I had just enough time to stash my bags and make a pilgrimage to see the Sydney Opera House.

via flickr

I had studied the building in an architectural history class (and recently read a New Yorker article about current efforts to restore it), but still I was completely unprepared for how amazing it is in real life. For one thing, it sits in one of the most incredible locations imaginable: the site is beside the Circular Quay and ferry building, across from the Harbour Bridge, and in front of the old Royal Botanic Garden, so it’s very busy, very prominent, and very beautiful. I suspect only a handful of sites this cool become available to architects in a century.

via flickr

For another, the Opera House itself is much more interesting up close than I expected. I didn’t realize how different the three buildings are, nor how their appearance changes as you walk around them.

via flickr

One of the cooler things I saw– the guys doing the new tile have to rappel up and down the sides of the building, as it’s too complicated to scaffold.

via flickr

The Opera House has also inspired some pretty innovative architecture nearby: in particular, a cluster of skyscrapers a few blocks away that I think are a terrific combination.

(Deutsche Bank Place (with the triangular scaffold), Chifley Tower, Aurora Place, and Governor Phillip Tower (the corporate headquarters in “Mission Impossible 2.”) via flickr

[To the tune of Little River Band, “It’s a Long Way There,” from the album “Little River Band: Greatest Hits“.]


  1. i need more info on the opera house because i am doing a project

  2. I seriously eed info on the Opera House!!!!! I’m doing an important project! PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Hey Brianna checkout wikipedia, It has full lenght article on opera House

  4. I like all different beautiful views even in other countries like Australia, Vietnam, Japan etc. I like it very much. That’s why I’m so very interested when I saw your blog its really nice. Thank you for sharing.

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