Trapped in Sydney Airport I saw The House, Helen Pitt’s history of the construction of the Sydney Opera House.
It seemed an irresistible subject having seen the structure most of the days I’d been in Sydney.
It’s a very engaging read weaving a narrative of the numerous larger than life characters responsible for the creation of the iconic structure.
Here’s an observation about architect Jørn Utzon working in Europe to visualise a building in Australia that is attractive no matter what angle it is viewed from:
At Kronborg Castle he paced out distances, his long legs stretching to count the meters as he tried to picture Bennelong Point. While walking around the castle’s ancient walls he realised that the Sydney Opera House would be like Kronborg: viewed from all sides. He had often sailed around the Kronborg peninsula, observing the castle from all angles, so knew the Sydney Opera House could not have an ugly side. It needed to be beautiful from all angles. Around, above and below. From a ferry on the harbour or from a car on the Harbour Bridge.
The House, Helen Pitt, Allen & Unwin, 2018, pg 106.
Even with the controversy surrounding its design and construction, it does achieve that brief.
No matter where the Opera House is viewed from, and no matter how many times you’ve seen it before, it is a pleasure to look at.