Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Opera House

I must be spoiled for architecture. For some reason I just didn't like the Sydney Opera House. For all intents and purposes, the Opera House is an architectural masterpiece, everyone loves it, it's a UNESCO world heritage building, and some photographers make it look like this:

C/o this photographer

The building is now 30 years old. It was actually designed almost 60 years ago, it just took a long time to become reality. It's currently under construction again, which is probably contributing to why it feels a little worn.

Photo taken from the ferry.

Primarily I think it's the cast cement construction that has turned me off. You can't tell from a distance, but it's made almost entirely from cement. It looks bit like one of Arthur Erickson's buildings. Rhythmic, symmetric, heavy and grey. I realize it was revolutionary at the time. Perhaps all those years I spent on SFU have taken their toll.

The clam shell roof, seen from underneath.

The sails (or clam shells) that are it's marquee feature are not white and airy, they are beige and look a little dirty. I think it was intended to look like some futuristic boat. Perhaps if you stretch your imagination it does look a little like a ferry.

Boat like?

As 2013 is its 30th anniversary, I expect it will be in top notch condition for whatever celebratory events come up. It certainly is a distinctive, iconic building, even if it is a little drab.


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