Tourists who have visited the magnificent Sydney Opera House would be forgiven for thinking it already looks pretty special, but it is soon set to look even more dazzling thanks to the announcement of a AU$202 million (US$155m) state-funded revamp.
Unveiled by Troy Grant, the state’s Deputy Premier and Minister of the Arts, the plans to transform the iconic venue that has become synonymous with the greatness of the city of Sydney represent the biggest facelift since the opera house opened for the first time in 1973.
The acoustics and accessibility of the main Concert Hall will both be upgraded, a welcome development for the thousands of musicians that play under its roof each year. In addition, an all-new ‘Creative Learning Centre’ for children and families, a ‘premium function centre’ and a new car-free entrance under the Monumental Steps will all be built.
Tony Grant pinpointed the need to maintain the landmark for future generations as the motivation behind such a big level of investment.
“The Sydney Opera House is the symbol of modern Australia. It is our responsibility as custodians of this extraordinary place to maintain and renew it for all Australians. That’s why we are investing more than AU$200 million in these wonderful projects, which represent the biggest upgrade to the Opera House since it opened 43 years ago,” he said.
As many as 8.2million visitors per year pass through the doors of the harbour attraction, designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon in such a fine example of expressionist style that it was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. Future visitors will be able to enjoy the updated Sydney Harbour bridge from 2021, the expected completion date for the full range of works.