1973, 28 Minutes
On 20 October 1973, the Sydney Opera House was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II. From conception to completion, it had taken more than 15 years and over $100 million dollars. In the years since its completion, the Sydney Opera House has become one of the most identifiable of Australia’s icons - ranking with the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Uluru, the koala and kangaroo - and is considered by many to be among the world's great architectural masterpieces.
Its entire construction period from inception was recorded on film. Made by the Australian Commonwealth Film Unit, The Fifth Facade (a reference to the roof which is the building’s most distinctive feature) documents the history of this striking and imaginative building, from the selection of the site at Bennelong Point to the official opening. The commentary of Jorn Utzon, the Danish architect who won the worldwide competition for the original building design, offers insights into the unique structural and aesthetic problems that had to be solved to make his vision a reality.
A Film Australia production. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
Producer: Anthony Buckley
Director: Donald Crombie
Narrator: Sam Wanamaker, Jorn Utzon
Running Time: 28 Minutes
Classification: Exempt from classification
Curriculum Links: Architecture, Design and Technology, Industrial Design, Visual Arts.