“It was a very difficult decision to make, to take on that immense and complicated thing”
Peter Hall, architect, 1973
When construction began, few could have imagined the enduring impact that Jørn Utzon’s creation would have on Sydney, or indeed on the nation. But any great feat of imagination and ingenuity creates sub-plots and the Opera House, perhaps more than any other twentieth-century structure of its stature, has generated many. First published in 2006, this comprehensive and richly illustrated book comprises an introduction and 11 engaging essays, written by eminent authors and experts in the field.
Building a Masterpiece explores some of the untold chapters in the long history of the Opera House’s gestation, development and completion – of individuals whose careers were made or broken by the Opera House, the companies whose reputations were secured through their association with the building, and the pioneering construction methods, innovative technologies and methodologies developed to meet the demands of its unprecedented design and challenging construction. The workers who built the building, the politicians, architects and members of the public who championed it and its often beleaguered architect are discussed as is its current world status as a symbol of Australia.
To coincide with the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Sydney Opera House, this new edition of Building a Masterpiece includes a new chapter on another little known and much misunderstood story: the architect who took over from Utzon and completed the project. Titled Peter Hall and the challenge of a career, the chapter documents the ‘lost’ years 1966-70, and the building’s design evolution after Utzon departed.