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November 22, 2012

The Sydney Opera House: Classic case history of failure of design competition?

Google in 'Sydney' and you will find Sydney opera house as one of the first image results.

Its not uncommon that a city gets synonymous with its architectural icon. One cannot undermine the importance of such an icon on the urban fabric.

Sydney Opera House is the result of a design competition.



Design competitions are always exciting.

It shows how a similar brief gets varied responses from talented designers. It also give chances for the newcomers(except when they prefer to invite!). But most importantly, invariably, we expect something remarkable to get built, which makes it real exciting.



[Design for NAMOC Museum by selected architects which include Zaha, Gehry, Safdie, OMA, UNStudio]

The post "Are you in the wrapper business?" worries about architecture community giving more merit and importance to wrappers than its content. Not many competitions end up in disappointments though. But there are cases which, if observed closely can give valuable lessons for future.


 "THE FORM REMAINS ONE OF SYDNEY'S MOST STRIKING AND RECOGNIZABLE VISUAL IMAGES, BUT ITS FUNCTION LEAVES SOME THINGS TO BE DESIRED" 

Lets hear about this from an engineer (one of the most prolific in that!). In his classic 'The Evolution of Useful things', Henry Petroski takes the case of the architectural icon.