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A man in glasses and a suit standing outside the Sydney Opera House.

Sydney Opera House: A Grand Design

Behind the scenes of legendary TV designer Kevin McCloud's Opera House visit

Kevin McCloud is one of Britain’s national treasures. Labelled by The Guardian as “the nation’s architectural critic-in-chief”, the designer and writer has been hosting Grand Designs since it first aired in 1999.

The show follows McCloud as he peeks into the domestic dreams of ambitious couples as they leap through the hoops of blown-out budgets to construct country estates and refurbish crumbling Tudor castles amongst the rolling green hills of England. Since then it’s branched off into a magazine, a home improvement show called Grand Designs Live, and nine spin-off shows.

During a recent visit to Australia, Kevin visited the Sydney Opera House to see how important upgrades to the building are taking shape.

“We’re going through a few renovations of our own” Louise Herron, CEO, Sydney Opera House, said as she took Kevin on a private tour looking at carved out passageways, back-of-house areas and before finishing off with a private performance from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.  

Watch the two discuss how already, audiences are enjoying the benefits of Renewal upgrades and how planning is underway for our biggest and most ambitious project – Renewal of the Concert Hall

This building is an elegant essay about culture, a symbol of a relationship between people and place

Find more about Talks & Ideas at the Opera House