Sydney Opera House drawings
An International Competition for the design of a National Opera House at Bennelong Point was held in 1956.
Jørn Utzon competition drawings
These are the original competition drawings for which the assessors of the Committee awarded Jørn Utzon first prize of £5,000 on 29 January 1957. As a result Mr Utzon was commissioned by the Government of New South Wales to do final drawings for the Opera House, and to supervise its construction.
The design competition attracted 233 entries from around the world. Construction began in 1959 and was completed in 1973.
Other competitors' designs
According to the "Brown Book", designs submitted for the international competition - except the design that placed first - were to be returned to competitors free of charge within four weeks after the closing date of the competition.
Copies of some competition designs from other competitors are held at the State Library of NSW.
Search the catalogue for records about the Opera House competition held in the State Archives Collection.
Examples of records about the Opera House competition
- Department of Public Works; NRS-12702, "An International Competition for a National Opera House at Bennelong Point, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia: Conditions and Programme" ("Brown Book"), 1955. This volume is digitised.
- Department of Public Works; NRS-12825, Competition drawings submitted by Jørn Utzon to the Opera House Committee, 1956. The drawings are digitised.
- Department of Public Works; NRS-12703, Opera House Competition: Memorandum to Competitors, 06/02/1957. This memorandum is digitised.
- Opera House Committee; NRS-19524, Unregistered files, 1955-1967. See the list of files in this series.
- Opera House Committee; NRS-19526, Working papers, 1954-1968. Includes draft copies of international design competition program
Sydney Opera House bookletsBrowse all
Conditions and Programme for an International Competition for a National Opera House at Bennelong Point, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
This 1962 report (commonly known as the 'Yellow Book') comprises plans submitted by Jørn Utzon and consultants
The printed booklet, commonly known as the 'Gold Book', was issued to accompany the “Ceremony to Commemorate the Commencement of the Sydney Opera House” on 2 March 1959
Guide to the records
Highlighting Sydney Opera House records in the State Archives Collection
We hold records relating to the construction of Sydney Opera House including the stages of construction, who was who, correspondence, plans, contracts, accounting records and more
After the election of a new Liberal government in 1965, control over payments for the Opera House project was transferred from the Opera House Committee to the Minster of Public Works
The Opera House was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen on 20 October 1973. This was followed by a two-week festival of events
The Sydney Opera House Trust operates and maintains the Opera House on behalf of the NSW Government