It’s one of the most iconic buildings on the planet – the Sydney Opera House - photographed endlessly to capture its unique contemporary design and visited by over 8 million people every year, yet still one of the most important messages you will hear from the staff is utmost respect for the sacred Aboriginal ground on which it stands.
Now known as Bennelong Point and named after Woollarawarre Bennelong, a senior Eora man at the time of the British colonisations in 1788, this area was used by the native Aboriginal people as a gathering point. The Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, named it Tubowgule, meaning "where the knowledge waters meet."
Over 200 designs were submitted into a competition to design the Sydney Opera House in 1956. Jorn Utzon from Denmark was chosen to bring his designs, inspired by the Aztec and Myan temples of South America, to life. Taking 14 years instead of the originally planned 4 and with an estimate of $7 million, it was completed at a cost of $104 million.
More than 1 million tiles cover the sail shaped structure, designed to contrast with the blue sea and clear skies and capture the changing light reflections throughout the year.
In 1966 Utzon resigned from the project after experiencing challenges with the Australian Government and sadly never did see his vision become reality, he was never invited back to finish his work.
The design was years ahead of its time and was inscribed on UNESCOs World Heritage list in 2007.