“Sydney Opera House stands by itself as one of the indisputable masterpieces of human creativity, not only in the 20th century but in the history of humankind” (International Council Report on Monuments and Sites to the World Heritage Committee).
On 28 June 2007 the Sydney Opera House was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List under the World Heritage Convention, placing it alongside the Taj Mahal, the ancient Pyramids of Egypt and the Great Wall of China as one of the most outstanding places on Earth.
It is the youngest cultural site to ever be included on the World Heritage List and one of only two cultural sites to be listed during the lifetime of its architect, Jørn Utzon (1918-2008).
According to UNESCO, the Sydney Opera House is a great architectural work of the 20th century that brings together multiple strands of creativity and innovation in both architectural form and structural design. “Its significance is based on its unparalleled design and construction,” UNESCO stated. “It is a daring and visionary experiment that has had an enduring influence on the emergent architecture of the late 20th century.
“Utzon's original design concept and his unique approach to building gave impetus to a collective creativity of architects, engineers and builders. Ove Arup's engineering achievements helped make Utzon's vision a reality” (UNESCO).
The design represents an extraordinary interpretation and response to the setting in Sydney Harbour. The Sydney Opera House is also of outstanding universal value for its achievements in structural engineering and building technology. The building is a great artistic monument and an icon, accessible to society at large.”
Read more about the Sydney Opera House’s inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List here.