Landmark: construction of the Sydney Opera House

Landmark: construction of the Sydney Opera House
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This short film was produced by the Commonwealth Film Unit from historic and contemporary footage of the Sydney Opera House.

It includes footage of its complex interior and exterior construction, as well as the site's previous use as the Fort Macquarie tram depot.

It has a musical score but no narration and is likely an unfinished production. The fact that the footage goes from black-and-white to colour emphasises the long construction phase.

It took 14 years to build from 1 March 1959 to its opening on 20 October 1973. About 10,000 construction workers were involved in building Jørn Utzon's ambitious architectural feat. The building was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007.

The Grand Organ in the concert hall is shown still wrapped in plastic. Estimated to take two or three years, it ultimately took ten years to build - from 1969 to 1979.

The Sydney Opera House has since become one of the most identifiable of Australian icons – alongside the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Uluru, the koala and kangaroo.

Notes by Beth Taylor