The Fifth Facade: From tram depot to icon

The Fifth Facade: From tram depot to icon
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Before construction began on the Opera House in 1959 it was the site of the disused Fort Macquarie Tram Depot.

The Sydney Opera House was built at Bennelong Point on the land of the Gadigal clan of the Eora nation.

Danish architect Jørn Utzon says that although he designed the plans without ever visiting Sydney he was inspired by Sydney's stunning headlands.

Jørn Utzon:

...One could not design a building for such an exposed position without paying attention to the roof. One could not have a flat roof filled with ventilation pipes. In fact one must have a fifth facade which is just as important as the other facades. 

An excerpt from the Film Australia Collection's The Fifth Facade, 1971, Film Australia Collection © NFSA. 

Full title available for purchase from the NFSA Shop.

Notes by Beth Taylor