Sydney Opera House Renewal - VAPS and the Joan Sutherland Theatre Engineering Design

Peter Macdonald
Principal
Arup, Sydney

The Sydney Opera House is both a World Heritage-listed building and a thriving performing arts center, bringing the world’s best performers to the residents of Sydney. Since its opening in 1973 it has become famous not only as an amazing place to see opera, ballet, plays, concerts etc., but also as a tourist destination. In 2010, the Opera House embarked on a major capital works program to update the facility for its ongoing future operations. This presentation covered the structural engineering challenges of designing and constructing a major underground loading dock and other back-of-house facilities beneath a functioning performing arts building. It also discussed the structural aspects of the current work in progress to upgrade the Sydney Opera House’s Joan Sutherland Theatre, replacing the facility’s machinery and upgrading patron access to comply with modern standards.

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