The project was developed by Australian studio ARM Architecture with engineering firm Arup. The reconstruction of the concert hall is the final stage of the overhaul of the entire building, which will be completed by the 50th anniversary of the theater in 2023
September 5, 2022
The Sydney Opera House was designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon and completed by Australian architect Peter Hall in 1973 and is one of the modern wonders of the world – and this is no joke: the Sydney Opera House did participate in the competition for the honorary title one of the seven new wonders of the world, but lost in the final to another project. Nevertheless, it remains one of the most amazing architectural monuments of our time and since 2007 has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 2012, Louise Herron, CEO of the Sydney Opera House, announced that the theater was undergoing a “decade of renewal”. The concert hall was the last and largest stage of this project. A team of architects and engineers, led by the Australian studio ARM Architecture and engineering firm Arup, worked on the renovation, which completely updated the outdated acoustics, functionality and interiors of the hall.
“At its venerable, almost 50-year-old age, the concert hall had outdated theater equipment under the ceiling, poor acoustics, and problems with accessibility for people with limited mobility. Moreover, these problems concerned the entire building, there were a lot of places in it that could only be reached by monumental stairs, – says one of the representatives of ARM Architecture, Andrew Hayne. – We were invited to work on the project in 2015 and the following For seven years, we have worked painstakingly with engineers and consultants to develop the right design solutions in terms of acoustics, functionality and accessibility for this truly legendary building.”
To improve the acoustics of the hall, the original suspended reflectors 18 are new in the form of fiberglass petals, which improve the acoustics for both performers and listeners. The “petals” are a beautiful burgundy color – to match the original chairs designed by Hall. In addition to the “petals” under the ceiling, there are other acoustic solutions, such as, for example, a series of wall reflectors or carved wooden panels around the stage and stalls. According to the authors of the project, such measures were necessary because of the too high ceilings of the hall and because of its large size – it is at least a third longer than an ideal concert hall should be, which has a bad effect on acoustics.
Other changes affected the technical equipment: now the hall has the most modern theatrical equipment. In addition, during the renovation, backstage and rehearsal spaces were expanded. The main stage has been lowered for better visibility and is equipped with an automatic mechanism that allows you to quickly set up the stage for orchestral performances. Finally, a new passage was made through the east foyer and new elevators that will allow wheelchair users to move freely through all floors of the building. The north foyer is especially important, as it offers a beautiful view of Sydney Harbour, according to the authors of the project.