26.01.2016 Australia Day – Australian Iconic Architecture
Australia Day is the perfect opportunity to celebrate and reflect on some of the iconic architectural monuments that have helped define Australia’s voice and ambitions both to ourselves and to the world.
Last year while visiting Sydney to attend the Reece Bathroom Innovation Awards a visit back to the Sydney Opera House was the last stop before heading back to Melbourne.
The building is famous for its striking white shells that soar above Sydney Cove but on this visit I deliberately ignored the glistening sails and focused my attention entirely on the stepped, punctured and flailing concrete planks that form the base, plinth and external staircases to the various buildings.
The building’s architect, Jorn Utzon is said to have been inspired by the ruins of Mayan temples he visited in Mexico. This resulted in a design of 2 distinct elements in the design. The sails above which delicately rest upon the massive, weighty base. This contrast of materials and form heightens the power of each.
The execution of the plinth has often fascinated me. It’s solidity and pure weight anchor the building within its precarious location on the slender peninsula. The deep reveals and fenestration help give the base an undeniable feeling of permanence as do the solid staircases that also add width and rigidity to the design.
Next time you visit this remarkable building try to keep your eyes below the sails. You may discover a new side to this icon.