One of the most photographed structures in the world, the Sydney Opera House is instantly recognizable by its sails shimmering above Sydney Harbour.
The House, as it is popularly known, has dazzled audiences with world-class performances inside one of the finest architectural marvels of the 20th century since it officially opened in 1973 and will mark its 50th anniversary on Friday.
Peter Sekules, a former architect now a part-time tour guide, developed a passion for architecture when his parents first took him to view the Sydney Opera House’s brilliant white sails under construction when he was five years old.
Sekules told Reuters from inside the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, “I remember this unusual shaped building coming out of the peninsula…because a lot of the buildings and houses I was living in were all squares and rectangles and then there was this very funny shape of a building.”
Jorn Utzon from Denmark was chosen from 233 concepts submitted for the 1956 Opera House international design competition.
The building was supposed to be finished four years after construction in 1959. Still, it took 14 years after Utzon left his position owing to a change in administration, disagreements over the design, and unexpectedly high construction expenses.
Sekules remarked, “When I read some of his inspirations for the Opera House, he really wanted to make it a contrast to all the squares and rectangles with which I was brought up and to really make this as a piece of sculpture.” “It was a beautiful philosophy.”
When Sekules began his architectural career working with Australian architect Peter Hall, who took over the Opera House project when Utzon departed, he claimed he wanted to instill that mentality.
The Opera House, which Queen Elizabeth II officially inaugurated on October 20, 1973, is commemorating its 50th birthday with fireworks and laser extravaganza that will illuminate the famous structure.
The Sydney Opera House estimates that more than 10.9 million people visit the structure annually. 2007, the Sydney Opera House was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.