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Conserving Sydney Opera House

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Conservation Management Plan

The Opera House’s latest Conservation Management Plan (CMP) –‘Respecting the Vision: Sydney Opera House – A Conservation Management Plan’ – provides detailed guidance on conservation and management at an important moment in the Opera House's Decade of Renewal.

Launched in October 2017, the CMP Fourth Edition is authored by architect and highly respected heritage specialist Alan Croker and builds on the CMP Third Edition (2003), written by the late James Semple Kerr – widely regarded as having set a new international standard for excellence in conservation management.

Together with the Utzon Design Principles, the CMP Fourth Edition helps the Opera House to better understand the vision and intent of architect Jørn Utzon and the contributions made by Peter Hall to its completion, so it can honour and manage the building, while delivering the best possible experience for the millions who enjoy it each year.

For the best experience, view the CMP PDF using Adobe Acrobat Reader. Please contact us if you require the CMP in an alternate format.

Ensuring the Opera House continues to live, in Utzon’s words, “at the edge of the possible”.

What does the updated CMP include?

The updated CMP builds on the robust Third Edition by providing more detailed information to help the Opera House manage change as it adapts to current and future needs during its Decade of Renewal.

This includes:

  • Updated and enhanced history of Bennelong Point;
  • Full analysis of the heritage significance of the site, in light of the State, National and World Heritage listings that have occurred since the last edition; and
  • A review of the conservation approach to the work of Peter Hall, especially the interiors.

The updated CMP features a number of new tools including the Tolerance and Opportunities for Change tables, which will inform day-to-day decisions for each component of the Opera House building and site – everything from the carpets in the Northern Foyers to acoustic features in the Concert Hall.

Read how the Conservation Management Plan was developed.

Utzon's Design Principles
“As the architect of the Sydney Opera House, as the creative force behind its character, I sincerely believe that a large multipurpose structure such as this building, in time will undergo many natural changes,” Utzon wrote.