One of many upgrades
The passageway is one of many upgrades taking place during the Opera House’s decade of Renewal—to ensure that this living public building is enjoyed and celebrated by all.
“The Opera House belongs to everyone. As an organisation, our goal is to provide barrier-free access, so that everyone can enjoy the building and the art inside it,” said Opera House CEO Louise Herron AM.
“We have sensitively integrated the new accessible path of travel and lift, both feats of engineering and works of art in themselves.”
These include paving in signature Opera House granite; replacing bitumen to make the area lighter; reducing glare; a new lift in the Box Office foyer providing for the first time an independent path of travel for those with access needs to the Joan Sutherland Theatre Southern Foyer; and converting the whole area from our front gates to our front door into a pedestrian-friendly zone, with easier and safer access.
Jørn Utzon described the journey across the expanse of the Forecourt and up the Monumental Steps as moving ‘from the ordinary to the extraordinary’. Now, the tunnel, completed in 2015, redirects over 1000 trucks every week taking gargantuan opera sets and heavy gear below the building. We’re left with a beautiful, vast Forecourt for people to enjoy, just as Jørn Utzon originally meant it to be.