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Issued Monday, 2 May 2005

WORK BEGINS ON NEW COLONNADE FOR SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

Work starts this week on the construction of a 45-metre loggia, or colonnade, along the Harbour Bridge side of Sydney Opera House.

This will be the first structural change to the exterior of the building since it opened in 1973.

The Loggia has been designed by Sydney Opera House’s architect, Jørn Utzon, to provide a spectacular setting for visitors, international tourists and theatre patrons and enliven the Western Boardwalk.

While developing his designs for the Loggia, Utzon said that “the present (theatre) foyer is not giving you the feeling of being on the Bennelong Peninsula. The Harbour Bridge is marvellous yet you can’t see it. With a colonnade on the western side for protection, this will open up the entry to the Drama Theatre, the Studio and the Playhouse”.

Nine openings will be created – six new large deep set windows and three glass doors. With the inclusion of these new openings, the foyers will be flooded with natural light and for the first time patrons will enjoy water and city views – one of Utzon’s key principles in his original design for Sydney Opera House.

Hoarding is being erected around the construction area. Explanatory signage will be posted on the hoarding and tourists and visitors can watch the work progress from the podium level above.

This is the second stage of the project, with the foundation piers secured to the bedrock below the Boardwalk completed last year.

Performances will not be affected by the work and all theatres will remain open.

When the project was announced last year, Jørn Utzon said: “I am really delighted that we have been asked…to work on a better situation at the western side of the Opera House…The colonnade in front of the western façade will attract people in daytime and will be a marvellous entrance for the spectators in the evening.”

This is one of a number of projects being designed by Jørn Utzon to improve facilities at Sydney Opera House, with funding from the NSW Government.

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Sydney Opera House

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