Sydney opera house renewal program prompts fierce debate

But the Opera House’s renewal program has been criticised for risking the iconic building’s heritage, violating Utzon’s design principles and endangering its World Heritage values.

The Opera House’s building plans include a permanent function centre, learning centre, sprucing up public spaces with bars and restaurants as well as improving accessibility.

Sydney Opera House chief executive Louise Herron “it absolutely makes sense” to renew the World Heritage-listed building. Sprinkler warehouse coupon code Photo: Louise Kennerley ‘Akin to retail development’

Yet the City of Sydney has raised concerns about the adverse heritage impact of improving accessibility: “The character of escalators is more akin to retail development”.

Leading architect Andrew Andersons, who worked on the upgrade of Circular Quay and the Opera House Forecourt in the 1980s, said the proposal to cut through stairs on one side of the Joan Sutherland Theatre conflicted with Jørn Utzon’s vision.


Architect Andrew Andersons described the temporary infrastructure – fencing, stages, stalls – for outdoor events at the Opera House as “an insult to visitors and residents”. Garden snakes eat Photo: Mark Metcalfe

But she asked: “Does it matter more for the stairs to be intact through the whole building or to allow people with mobility issues to enjoy the marvels of the Opera House? I think it is the latter.”

Mr Andersons said rules around providing disabled access are too restrictive, and prevented, for example, the type of elevators installed at the Louvre in Paris.

“A lot of the building renewal project is about making bigger bars and bigger spaces for hire,” she said. Baseball pitcher quotes “The two foyers for example will be long opening food and beverage spaces outside performances.”​

The City of Sydney has submitted objections to a number of the Opera House’s development applications lodged with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

Graham Jahn​, the council’s head of planning, development and transport, said the plan to create a new function centre “is in direct contradiction with Jørn Utzon’s vision for the Opera House”.

A related plan to convert a ballet rehearsal room into a kitchen would have an “unacceptable heritage impact”. Landscape supply portland “Worse, it prioritises the function centre use over … the performing arts,” he said.​ ‘An insult to visitors’

The Opera House also faces a barrage of criticism from architects, heritage experts, former Opera House trustees and Utzon’s son Jan, who are enraged by the use of the forecourt for outdoor events and the proposal to host sleepovers.

Their concerns are not new. Cottage garden design In November 2002, letters were published in The Sydney Morning Herald under headings such as “Opera House louts” and “Operatic desecration and vandalism on a grand scale”.

Mr Andersons described the temporary infrastructure – fencing, stages, stalls – for outdoor events as “an insult to visitors and residents” who are denied important views of the Opera House.

“It is totally inappropriate for the building to be hidden behind junky temporary structures for events of dubious artistic value,” he said. Ancestry dna “Similar activities in front of New York’s Lincoln Centre, Milan’s La Scala or the Palais Garnier would be unthinkable.”

“It’s a sad fact of life that cultural institutions have been subject for years to ‘efficiency dividends’ forcing them to investigate supplementary sources of revenue,” he said. Fantasy football 2016 “This situation is aggravated by the appointment to the various boards governing these institutions of representatives of business and finance with little (or no) sensibility to the arts.

“Imagine any other world city treating its landmark performing arts centre in this money-grubbing fashion,” he said. Fastpitch softball pitching lessons “The latest catch-penny proposal for sleepovers is simply daft.”

“Effort expended on rattling the cash can could be better directed to lobbying the state government for adequate funds to run the place efficiently without trashing it.”

Herron said the NSW government “is our greatest supporter” pointing to the hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money given towards the Opera House’s facelift. Landscape ontario congress ‘There will be outdoor events’

The Opera House has also copped flak from some of Sydney’s wealthiest and most influential residents, including radio host Alan Jones, over the staging of events such as last year’s Crowded House concert.

“The residents of the Toaster [building] didn’t like the noise of the flags on the flagpoles and so we removed the flagpoles,” she said. Football season is over “Apparently they complained about the sound of the ferry horns but the ferries still need to have their horns.”

Herron said there were no concerts requiring big infrastructure planned for the forecourt until November although “there could be events like Greek National Day”.

“However, the current uses, with the clutter of invasive items and structures that seem to be part of these events at an increasingly alarming rate, were never planned or foreseen by him.” World Heritage in danger?

Architect and heritage adviser Joan Domicelj warned in 2014 that the Opera House could be eligible for the World Heritage in Danger list because of “clutter that obstructs views” and a “lack of integrity in presentation of the property”.

Ms Winkworth said international visitors to Sydney had a one in four chance of finding the Opera House obscured by portable buildings, fencing, a sound stage and shipping containers used in outdoor events.

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