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Sydney Opera House BUILD

Creating a better world through the Built Environment

Sydney Opera House is an internationally renowned masterpiece and home of the performing arts where design, architecture, the built environment and creativity change the way people experience the world. The building was made possible through the collaboration between architects, engineers and builders. This includes architects Jørn Utzon AC and Peter Hall, and Sir Ove Arup who was an engineer, designer and philosopher.

To celebrate this collaboration, BUILD is a new Creative Learning program that uses the lens of the Sydney Opera House building, its site and its story to explore creative explorations around STEM and built environment perspectives, through the power of the arts and architecture.

BUILD is made up of three distinct programs. For year 9 and 10 students, BUILD aims to reposition STEM subjects for young people and the careers they could have, following on from interest in these subjects. For tertiary students, BUILD explores in a leadership program, how a socially engaged built environment practice can contribute to more sustainable futures. For the Public Program, BUILD explores new intersections between the built environment, design and the arts.

I like to be on the edge of the possible.

Jørn Utzon AC

Watch the trailer

Sydney Opera House BUILD

BUILD Programs

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.

Sydney Opera House BUILD: Tertiary Built Environment Creative Lab

A unique Creative Learning program for tertiary students, exploring the built environment through diverse and socially engaged design perspectives. Students tackle a future-facing design challenge by collaborating in interdisciplinary teams.


An ongoing series of conversation nights, exploring new perspectives from design, architecture, engineering, science, the humanities and the arts to reflect on how these disciplines and design innovation can address the urgent issues of our times. Each talk responds to one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

A man and a woman sitting on a chair in a talk show.

Life on Land

Listen to Sydney Opera House’s Joni Taylor and visionary thought leaders, Jefa Greenaway and Liane Rossler, reflect on our relationship to “Life on Land” - Global Goal 15.


Life Below Water

Listen to Sydney Opera House’s Joni Taylor and visionary thought leaders Dr Danièle Hromek and Alex Goad reflect on our relationship to “Life Below Water” - Global Goal  14.

A panel sitting in a talk show.

Does Artificial Intelligence Make Smart Cities ?

Listen to Sydney Opera House’s Joni Taylor in conversation with guest speakers Thea-Mai Baumann and Dr Sarah Barns exploring industry innovation to build better cities and in dialogue with UNSDg 9 - “Industry Innovation and Infrastructure”.

Program partner: Ove Arup Foundation

The Ove Arup Foundation and Sydney Opera House are working in partnership to enable BUILD over three years from 2021 through the Opera House’s 50th anniversary year in 2023. 

“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.”