Most of us might have heard about the “Sydney Opera House” and few lucky ones residing outside the Australian continent might have even had the opportunity of visiting this modern architectural wonder.
Yes – you got it right. I am talking about the wonderful building in Sydney that has nine shells overlapping each other from the center of this building – and is, in many ways, considered to be one of the most easily recognized buildings in the world.
I do now think that most of you might have identified the building which in many cases is referred pictorially to Australia. The graceful building, situated at the banks of a water front, easily makes one think that the arches or the shell of the building have been inspired by the sails. The majestic building is one of the famous tourist spots in Australia and as many as 2 million visitors come to this architectural wonder every year.
It was in 1950 that the idea of constructing a new building came to Eugene Goossens, the organizer of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. The site proposed for the present building was then a disused tram depot on Bennelong Point.
After preliminary assessments, a competition was called for the best design for the proposed new building. The architect for this new building was Jern Utzon Dane, and the design of his dream structure is what we see now as the Sydney Opera House.
Unlike the traditional square or circular dome typed building, which was mostly preferred in those days, Utzon came up with this startling design of nine shells radiating from the center.
What would have been the inspiration for this revolutionary design by Dane? It is not the sails or something extraordinary of that sort that inspired the architect with this unique design for this Sydney Opera House.
The actual inspiration for this unique design was nothing but a single piece of fruit. More specifically, it is the orange fruit and the segments of the fruit that really inspired this great architect of that time. The individual shells from the single piece of an orange fruit are those nine shells radiating out from the centre – for the architect.
The work on the building actually started in 1959. The project was initially projected for completion in 4 years. But, political wrangles and many other complications not only delayed the project but over-run the projections by a wide margin. The architect, frustrated with the impediments, walked out of the project abruptly. After 14 long years and an additional 90 million Australian Dollars, the Sydney Opera House was finally completed in the year 1973.