On a recent visit to Sydney Opera House we had a tour of the inside, listened to stories about the building and how it all works.
It was a great example of work and leisure coming together.
It’s always good to have a balance between work and leisure and sometimes the boundaries are pretty blurred. As a partnership we like to work to be enjoyed. Sydney Opera House is a good example.
This iconic building, known the world over, started with a project from Sydney for a new building on a partially derelict site on the peninsula near Circular Quay.
From the vast numbers of people applying, Jorn Utzon was chosen because the Finnish judge saw the potential of this dreamy vision of the shell type structure. To plan and design this revolutionary building needed a decision maker and a brave personality.
Jorn Utzon liked to work on the ‘edge of the possible’.
The cost of the building was estimated way below the eventual cost of over £120 million dollars in the 1960’s . Sydney Council raised all of the money through a lottery and the building was paid for in 18 months.
The structure proved hard to produce initially. One night Utzon phoned his colleague with the answer. The solution was a spherical model, of which all the shells would be a part.
Sadly for Utzon a change of government meant that he was asked to work with a committee. He was not prepared to do this and so left the finishing of the building to another team.
The inside spaces of the building, the foyers and the concert halls are stunning, the organisation is entrepreneurial too and involves the artists and performers in their own organisation and marketing.
Performers can buy a certain length of time and number of performances, for which they operate the costs themselves or sell merchandise and promote as they wish.The price of tickets is arranged by the performer.
In effect Sydney Opera House offers the venue and leaves the rest to the enterprise of the artist.
They also charge rents to other organisations who operate the utilites and retail outlets. As yet they cover 80% of their costs,with 20% coming from state funding.
A good model of enterprise and sustainablity!
An iconic building for a beautiful city, Australian enterprise for a world audience,work and leisure hand in hand.
As they say so often down under, ‘ No worries!’
Sue Martin – SmithMartin Partnership LLP – Enterprise and creativity