Sydney Opera House set for 18 month closure

Sydney Opera House set for 18 month closure
Sydney Opera House set for 18 month closure

The NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts, Troy Grant has unveiled working designs for the largest program of upgrades to the Opera House since it opened in 1973.

Some 8.2 million visit each year, but the precinct will need to be closed for around 18 months as the NSW Government has committed $202 million from the renewal plans.

They will:

  • Upgrade the acoustics, accessibility, efficiency and flexibility of the Opera House’s largest internal performance space, the Concert Hall, which hosts world-leading classical and contemporary musicians, speakers and other performers;
  • Transform office space into a new Creative Learning Centre, a dedicated place for children, families and young people;
  • Remove the existing intrusive marquee from the Northern Broadwalk, and build a premium Function Centre within the building envelope, with spectacular views of the harbour; and
  • Create a welcoming, car-free entrance under the Monumental Steps, and improve access to a more comfortable and inviting main foyer.

Australia’s premier tourist destination and performing arts centre, the Opera House contributes $775 million annually to the NSW economy and has a national-identity value of $4.6 billion, according to Deloitte Access Economics.

Jan Utzon, architect and member of the Opera House’s Eminent Architects Panel (EAP), said his father believed the building would need to change over time to meet the requirements of the day, while retaining the integrity of its architecture.

“When my father was re-engaged to look into the Opera House, he realised it was necessary to look at the Opera House with new eyes,” said Mr Utzon, who worked with his father after Jørn’s re-engagement in 1999. “He realised times had changed and that a functioning arts centre will always need to adapt to the culture of the moment.”

The largest of the four NSW Government-funded projects, the Concert Hall upgrade is expected to take 18 months to complete. Construction will begin in mid-2019 and the hall will reopen with the SSO’s 2021 season.   

For more information see:

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

Renovations Opera House

Community Discussion

Be the first one to comment on this article
What would you like to say about this project?