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