International Day of Monuments and Sites

International Day of Monuments and Sites

An insightful series of talks from the Utzon Room with industry leaders about the Sydney Opera House’s creation and its future. From concept to realisation, innovation to renewal, speakers share new research and reveal untold stories about the contribution of architects, engineers, and builders to Australia’s masterpiece of 20th century architecture.

International Day of Monuments and Sites
  • UNSW Sydney UTZON Lecture with Jan and Lin Utzon (2023)

    Join Jan and Lin Utzon in conversation – as we journey through the legacy of their father, Jørn Utzon, the visionary architect of the Sydney Opera House. In a brief UNSW Sydney UTZON Lecture, Jan will examine the architectural brilliance of the building that has inspired a nation. This will be fo...

  • Louise Herron AM: Symposium Welcome

  • Ken Maher and Peter Mould (An introduction)

  • Dr Penny Stannard - An opera house, Sydney, and post-war Australia

    Emergence of an idea: an opera house, Sydney, and post-war Australia

    Dr Penny Stannard, Head of Curatorial & Research, Museum of History NSW
    On 13 September 1955 the NSW Government announced an international competition for the design of a national opera house at Bennelong Point, Sydney. In the ...

  • Abbie Galvin - Concept: An Introduction

    As the 24th NSW Government Architect, Abbie leads an office established in the early day of the Sydney colony which has practiced for over two centuries.

    Abbie is responsible for championing design excellence across the State and shaping quality places and public spaces through policy and advoca...

  • Richard Johnson AO - Jørn Utzon: Concept and Realisation

    Jørn Utzon: Sydney Opera House concept and realisation

    Richard Johnson, AO, JPW Architects
    This short talk will attempt to outline the significance of the Sydney Opera House, its role in the cultural life of the city and reflect upon ideas, inspiration and design principles central to Utzon’s ar...

  • Tristram Carfrae RDI - Ove Arup: Collaborative engineering design

    When Ove Arup first learned about Jørn Utzon’s imaginative, lyrical concept for a new Opera House in Sydney, he immediately offered to help.

    He had established his firm of consulting engineers, Ove Arup & Partners (now simply Arup) in London, specifically to help modernist architects realise the...

  • Dr Anne Watson - Peter Hall's conceptual conundrum

    "What were we supposed to build?" Peter Hall's conceptual conundrum

    Dr Anne Watson, Independent Researcher and curator
    When Peter Hall (1931-1995) accepted the invitation to complete the Sydney Opera House after Jørn Utzon’s withdrawal in early 1966, he inherited a logjam of problems including t...

  • Professor Helen Lochhead - Innovation: An Introduction

    Prof. Helen Lochhead, UNSW Sydney, SOH DAP

    Professor Helen Lochhead is an architect, landscape and urban designer combining academic and expert advisory roles with practice. Her career has focused on the inception, planning, design, and delivery of complex urban projects ranging from city improv...

  • Professor Philip Goad - Innovation, modern architecture and Sydney Opera House

    Competition in context: Innovation, modern architecture and the Sydney Opera House

    Prof. Phillip Goad, University of Melbourne (UoM)
    Jørn Utzon’s 1956 competition design for the Sydney Opera House and its development to 1962 has been widely and intensively studied. The design’s much vaunted Prom...

  • Tristram Carfrae RDI - Delivering New Technologies

    SOH: Delivering new technologies

    Tristram Carfare RDI
    The design and construction of the Sydney Opera House is full of innovation. It was the first time that digital computers, then resident in university basements, were used in structural analysis, and later in the construction surveying.

  • Professor Paulo Tombesi - The construction of the sails

    Tracks, beds, cradles and needles: The construction of the sails

    Prof. Paolo Tombesi, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFI)
    Within ‘normal’ architectural projects, building contractors are not expected to produce large amounts of drawings. In the Sydney Opera House, by contrast, the co...

  • Panel 1: Innovation and Research

    Panel 1: Innovation and Research
    Moderator: Peter Mould (SOH DAP) and panellists Phillip Goad, Paolo Tombesi, Tristam Carfrae, Anne Watson

  • Sheridan Burke - Renewal: An Introduction

    Sheridan Burke was the foundation president of the ICOMOS international Scientific Committee on Twentieth Century Heritage and is currently its Secretary General. She is a Sydney based heritage consultant trained in planning and architecture with 40 years experience working across Australia and i...

  • Ian Cashen - Decade of Renewal

    Ian Cashen, Executive Director, Building, Safety and Security, Sydney Opera House
    The ‘Decade of Renewal’ saw the successful delivery of the largest capital investment in the Sydney Opera House since its original construction. It commenced with the completion of a new underground loading dock and...

  • Alan Croker - Managing Change

    Managing change

    Alan Croker, Director, Design 5 - Architects
    Sydney Opera House is internationally acclaimed as both an architectural masterpiece and a performing arts centre – its ‘form’ and its ‘function’. These values cannot be considered separately; their fundamental interdependence being c...

  • Andrew Hayne - Case Study: Concert Hall Renewal

    Andrew Hayne, Principal, ARM Architecture
    As the architects entrusted with the renewal of the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, we embarked on a transformative journey in the heart of architectural history. This talk delves into the challenges of revitalizing an icon, a structure deeply embedded i...

  • Dr Scott Hill - The first year of performance at the Sydney Opera House

    From Prokofiev to Les Girls: the first year of performance at the Sydney Opera House

    Dr Scott Hill, Curator, Museums of History NSW
    Officially opened on October 20th, 1973, the Sydney Opera House had already been operating as a performing arts venue for nearly a year. From acoustic tests to ‘gal...

  • Peter Mould – Reflections: An Introduction

    Peter Mould is a former NSW Government Architect with over 40 years experience in Australia and overseas. He was the founding chair of the Eminent Architects Panel (now Design Advisory Panel) for the Sydney Opera House in 2010 and is a member of Design Review Panels in Sydney and interstate. He h...

  • Louise Herron AM - Everyone’s House: the next chapter

    Louise Herron, CEO, Sydney Opera House
    Long before any plans had been drawn up, and long before the first stone had been turned, the Sydney Opera House was conceived as a cultural meeting place that belonged to the people around it. This is the simple but powerful idea that animates so much of wh...

  • Panel 2: Reflections

    Concept, Innovation and Renewal Symposium
    Panel 2: Reflections

    Moderator: Ken Maher (SOH DAP) and panellists Louise Herron, Richard Johnson, Alan Croker and Abbie Galvin