The Sydney Opera House is certainly an international landmark and is also a World Heritage site. But it is also the quintessential Australian landmark. However, as spectacular as it is the building requires some acoustic renovation and this is where engineers from the Bavarian companies Planegg and Müller-BBM GmbH come in.
The Opera House represents an enormous challenge for the project manager and engineers which is so distant from their home base in Bavaria. Extensive renovations are now required since the building was completed 43 years ago, both general renovation of the Opera Hall, as well as acoustic improvements in the 2,600 seat main Concert Hall.
The work, funded by the Government of New South Wales, will begin in May 2017 and is scheduled to be completed in six years. As much of the work will be done on the acoustic improvements of the main Concert Hall, it will remain closed for approximately 18 months in mid-2019.
As the Opera House is the most recently built structure belonging to the UNESCO World Heritage list it presents unique problems for the renovation. All work must be carefully coordinated between the planners, architects and the heritage conservation people.
Planegg, the engineering company from just outside Munich are experts in the field of sound and acoustics, having also worked on projects for the Bolshoi Theatre and opera houses such as “La Fenice” in Venice and the “Teatro di San Carlo” in Naples. The company will relocate engineers to Sydney so that they can look after the renovation work locally.
The Opera House was designed by the architect Jørn Utzon from Denmark. Construction began in 1959 an the building was regarded as a masterpiece of modern architecture. Construction did not proceed without problems, however, with multiple revisions to the plans and cost overruns ultimately leading to the architect leaving before the building was completed.
Photo credit: “www.colourbox.com”. Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Broadcasting).