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It’s Official: Sydney Opera House is now a landmark

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By Funnyvot Auditorial - - 5 Mins Read
It's Australia's most famous structure, a true emblem of the Harbour City that has appeared on numerous postcards, fridge magnets, and Hollywood films.  The Sydney Opera House is one of Australia's most well-known and iconic structures. Anyone who is familiar with Australia will recognize this structure.  The architecture is the main attraction point of the structure, even from afar. It's also on the Sydney Harbor Bridge, which offers spectacular views of the sea.  The Opera House is spectacular and offers a variety of attractions, the most notable of which are the performances held there. The Sydney Opera House, however, was not designated as a landmark until March 5, 2022. That is, not in any official sense. All of that has changed now, due to a new award from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The Eiffel Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge, Machu Picchu, and the Panama Canal, as well as the celebrity scollop-shelled building's nearest neighbor, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, now join a list of other official landmarks that includes the Eiffel Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge, Machu Picchu, and the Panama Canal. While it may seem surprising that the Opera House could be earning official historic recognition almost half a century after it first opened, that isn't to say it hasn't previously won a slew of prestigious awards.  In 2007, the pearly sails of Bennelong Point were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Prior to that, in 2003, the building received the Pritzker Prize, which was given to the project's original architect, Jørn Utzon, just five years before his death in 2008. "These prizes recognize a number of engineering achievements that underpin the design and construction of the Sydney Opera House, which have inspired generations of engineers throughout the world," said Gianluca Ranzi, past president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Australia branch. Frank Johnson, chair of Engineers Australia's Sydney heritage committee, said the engineering heritage recognition process had two stages: a thorough submission to Engineering Heritage Australia, which was approved, and then to the American Society of Civil Engineers' Board of Directors. Engineers Australia spent more than two years completing an intensive application process for the Opera House's latest award. The building's landmark status acknowledges not only its architectural virtues but also the ground-breaking engineering that was required to construct it. "While several significant Sydney sites have been recognized, such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House has not. As a result, we were overjoyed to learn that it had been authorized. "From my perspective, the Sydney Opera House's architectural characteristics have always been front and center, so it was about time the engineers got their due," Johnson remarked. He called the use of computers in design, pre-cast concrete, epoxy glue to combine the concrete pieces, and the pre-calculation of all specifications down to the last bolt and hole places on such a large scale "exceptional." Because the placement of a real metal plaque is considered intrusive under the Opera House's conservation management plan, according to asset planning and information manager Brian Cock, a digital plaque will be presented to the Trust. In a proposal to the American Society of Civil Engineers, Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron remarked, "It is a masterwork of vision and creativity, built on the foundations of difficult and inventive engineering." The sculptural elegance of the Sydney Opera House fused ancient and modernist influences The Sydney Opera House's sculptural elegance has made it one of the most recognizable buildings of the twentieth century, evoking inspiration and imagination. Jørn Utzon made a building well ahead of its time, far ahead of available technology, a structure that altered the perception of an entire country." Built in 1973 to "help build a better and more educated community," as New South Wales Premier Joseph Cahill put it in 1954, the Sydney Opera House has hosted many of the world's greatest performers and events, as well as serving as a meeting place for local and worldwide issues. The Sydney Opera House, according to UNESCO, is a great 20th-century architectural masterpiece that combines various strands of originality and invention in both architectural form and structural construction. In a typical year, this landmark attracts about 11 million visitors, with over 1800 performances attracting 1.4 million people. Without the tremendous engineering accomplishments that enabled the building's construction, none of this would be conceivable.