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2006 Media Releases - Events - The changing face of Sydney Opera House goes on display

Issued Tuesday, 28 February 2006


Jørn Utzon changed how the world sees Sydney and Australia when he designed Sydney Opera House and 32 years on from the building’s opening, he is still keeping it in the international spotlight.

This month Sydney Opera House celebrates the completion of its first exterior alteration of a colonnade stretching along the Harbour Bridge side of the building. The Colonnade is Utzon’s second project since being re-engaged as Sydney Opera House’s architect.

Since the laying of its foundation stone, Sydney Opera House has fired the imagination of artists, from amateur happy snappers to professional photographers and painters including Brett Whiteley, David Moore, Ken Done and the stunning images of Max Dupain capturing the detail as Utzon’s creation took shape.

In keeping with this tradition, Sydney Opera House commissioned award winning photographer Jeremy Piper to capture the latest construction milestone and people involved in a similar way.

Jeremy’s striking photos will be on display at a free exhibition, BREAKTHROUGH: Creating Utzon’s Colonnade in the Western Foyers at Sydney Opera House from 14 March – 11 April 2006.

The exhibition reveals the journey from initial design to stunning reality, through inspiring images of workers who built The Colonnade and the detail and complexity of its construction.

Jeremy has skilfully captured the workers and their individual stories, in a detailed and often humorous way, whilst revealing the iconic and sculptural nature of the project. The exhibition provides insight into how the architect, Jørn Utzon, achieved his aim of opening the western foyers to the harbour without compromising structural integrity of the building.

Jeremy Piper said: “I wanted to capture the day-to-day work in the most natural way possible, as a by-stander would. The images were taken to reflect what activity was happening on any particular day, as well as the construction materials and techniques being used and the workers both on-site and at the concrete manufacturer’s site.”

In addition to the construction elements and the high quality and unique materials used, this exhibition reveals the human emotion, hard work, dedication and challenges behind this historic building programme.

As with the construction of Sydney Opera House, there has been a great sense of pride and ‘making history‘ for those working on the Colonnade construction. Michael, an electrician on the project: “We had to live up to the Opera House’s famous reputation and exceed expectations. Everything we’ve used has been the highest quality possible, right down to the light fittings.”

Supporting these photographs will be footage of Jørn Utzon talking about how the design works and his concept ideas for the proposed second stage of the project, the refurbishment of the western foyers.

This exhibition is supported by HP.

A limited number of keepsake images from breakthrough: Creating Utzon's Colonnade will be available during the exhibition for purchase as prints, utilising print-on-demand technology provided by HP.

Season Details: BREAKTHROUGH: Creating Utzon’s Colonnade
14 March-11 April 2006
Opening hours: 11am-8pm
Cost: Free admission
Where: Western Foyers, Sydney Opera House

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