Instantly recognizable, the Sydney Opera House earned the Pritzker Prize in 2003—the highest award in the field of architecture.
Photo by wikimedia user Enoch Lau
Architecture as Art
The Sydney Opera House opens in Australia
Think of a few of the world’s most iconic structures. What comes to mind? Probably buildings like the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building, and Big Ben. On this day in 1973, the Sydney Opera House was added to the list. As a symbol of Australia itself, the building resembles a huge white boat at full sail docked at the edge of the bustling Sydney Harbor.
That, in fact, was the image Danish architect Jorn Utzon had in mind when conceiving the design for this building that hosts a wide array of performing arts events, not just opera. Interestingly, the original “sail/roof” was beyond engineering capabilities at the time, and it took Utzon two years to solve design issues affecting the series of shell-shaped pieces.