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Sydney Opera House BUILD

Secondary School Design Challenge 

A unique Creative Learning program for year 9 and 10 students, exploring a holistic journey through STEM/STEAM subjects as inspired by the Sydney Opera House.

In the Centre for Creativity | Sydney Opera House Presents | Schools

"Engineering is not a science. Science studies particular events to find general laws. Engineering design makes use of the laws to solve particular practical problems. In this it is more closely related to art or craft."
 
Sir Ove Arup

A fun and playful design challenge

BUILD's Secondary program radically redefines what the STEM curriculum may mean for young people. The program uses Sydney Opera House as a learning canvas, integrating First Nations perspectives and creative engagement with the arts. Students deepen their understanding of STEM subjects in the real world by exploring the maths, geometry, architecture and engineering principles of the Sydney Opera House building.

Through a fun and playful design challenge, students connect applied curriculum areas and creative expression. The program is aimed at students in years 9 and 10 – a crucial time when subject selections are made, influencing future career pathways including those relevant to the built environment.

Sixty students from different schools participate in a week-long creative intensive at Sydney Opera House.

Presented by Sydney Opera House

Program Partner: Ove Arup Foundation

"An independent UK charity, the Ove Arup Foundation honours the memory of engineer, designer and philosopher, Sir Ove Arup. By funding educational programmes and initiatives, the foundation drives values of innovation and inclusive design, with a strong emphasis on sustainability and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Sir Ove Arup was involved in the original design of Sydney Opera House, which began in the 1950s, and his firm Arup continues to play a pivotal role in the building’s long-term development and preservation plan.

Danish architect Jørn Utzon won an international competition for the project in 1957. As the industry’s eminent concrete designer, Sir Ove Arup’s contribution was sought early on, and he began to turn Utzon’s freeform sketches into an architectural reality. Sir Ove Arup’s team confronted an engineering challenge that has since become one of the profession’s epic tales – the design and construction of the building’s enormous, precast concrete shells."

Program Partner

Venue Information

In line with the NSW Public Health Order, venue capacity is currently limited to 75%. This includes all performances in the Joan Sutherland Theatre, Studio, Playhouse, Drama Theatre and Utzon Room. Please note that you may be seated directly alongside other patrons.

Our foyers will be open 60 minutes pre-show for Joan Sutherland Theatre performances, and two hours pre-show for Western Foyer venue performances. Refreshments will be available for purchase from our theatre bars. Please remember to maintain physical distancing whilst consuming drinks in our foyers.

All Sydney Opera House foyers are pram accessible, with lifts to the main and western foyers. The public lift to all foyers is accessible from the corridor near the escalators on the Lower Concourse and also in the Western Foyer via the corridor on the Ground Level (at the top of the escalators). Pram parking will be available outside the theatres in the Western Foyer consistent with COVID-safe rules.

Transport options

  • We encourage you to use private transport options to minimise crowding on public transport (in line with NSW Government advice). 
  • The Sydney Opera House Car Park, operated by Wilson Parking, is open and available to use. Wilson Parking offer discounted parking if you book ahead. Please see their website for details.
  • Please check the Transport NSW website for the latest advice and information on travel and COVID-19 safety measures. You can catch public transport (bus, train, ferry) to Circular Quay and enjoy a 6 min walk to the Opera House. 

Frequently Asked Questions - Venue

Frequently Asked Questions - COVID-19 Safety Measures

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