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2008 Corporate Media Release - House History

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Issued, 12 August 2008

Online House History launched today

Sydney Opera House today launched a comprehensive online history of the construction, the site, the personalities and the events that shaped the development of the architectural masterpiece that came to symbolise our nation.

House History is a new online resource that allows anyone, anywhere, to read or research the making of a masterpiece. Sponsored by Baulderstone Hornibrook, House History examines the history of the Bennelong Point site since 1788. It covers the design competition, the construction of Sydney Opera House, the controversies surrounding its completion and the litany of stars, celebrities, world leaders and events that have made the House Australia’s cultural hub. There are also many images that bring to life the various milestones in the site’s long history.

In 1957, Jorn Utzon won the international competition for a national opera house at Bennelong Point, Sydney. Utzon’s design is now acknowledged as a masterpiece of late 20th century modern architecture and was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2007. The expert evaluation report to the World Heritage Committee described it as ‘one of the indisputable masterpieces of human creativity, not only in the 20th century but in the history of humankind.’

“Right from the beginning, Baulderstone Hornibrook (then Hornibrook Group) played an integral role in the creation of this remarkable building,” said Richard Evans, Sydney Opera House CEO. “The company constructed the roof shells and the interior structure and fitouts of the main halls. The enormous challenges in construction demanded pioneering applications and new materials as well as new developments in building and engineering practices.”

The unique design of Sydney Opera House demanded an entirely new approach to construction; and it required an exceptional and collaborative working environment to find the necessary engineering and building solutions. Construction of the shells, in particular, was one of the most difficult engineering tasks ever attempted and Baulderstone Hornibrook helped resolve issues around the construction process to successfully complete one of the world’s most recognised structures.

House History can be accessed at sydneyoperahouse.com and includes links to further information including a comprehensive case study of the work undertaken by Baulderstone Hornibrook.

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