Celebrating the Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House

(The use of this image has been approved by the Sydney Opera House Trust)

Great things happen when you see things differently, take a fresh approach and strive for new and better things. It’s one way that Cushman & Wakefield continue to be what’s next.

In January 1957 Jørn Utzon, a relatively unknown Danish architect was announced the winner of an international competition to design a national opera house for Bennelong Point Sydney. His unique submission with its curved lines, and now iconic sails beat 233 competing architects. This design, shockingly different to the architectural styles of the time became the Sydney Opera House as we know it today.

Utzon later created Design Principles for ongoing upkeep of the Sydney Opera House, when they published in 2002, he commented “I like to think the Sydney Opera House is like a musical instrument, and like any fine instrument, it needs a little maintenance and fine tuning, from time to time, if it is to keep on performing at the highest level."

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Cushman & Wakefield have been facility managers of the Sydney Opera House for 11 years, helping ensure Jørn’s vision remains by helping maintain the exterior, interiors and managing the many specialised requirements of one the worlds most recognised buildings. The Cushman & Wakefield team of 14 have accumulated over 135 years’ combined Sydney Opera House experience.

Despite the many international artists and performers, one of the most recognisable faces in the Sydney Opera House forecourt is Steve Tsoukalas, who has worked at the Sydney Opera House since construction in 1968 and is their longest serving employee. In his 49 years’ working in the iconic building Steve has implemented a variety of creative initiatives, including the use of olive oil to protect and maintain bronze and baking soda to revitalize the concrete. In fact, the ability of Cushman & Wakefield and the Sydney Opera House team to see things differently and innovate assisted the Sydney Opera House achieving a 4 star performance rating from the Green Building Council of Australia in 2015, one of a select few World Heritage buildings to achieve green certification globally. 

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In 2018, the Sydney Opera House turns 45, and partly thanks to Steve and the efforts of Cushman & Wakefield doesn’t look a day older than in 1973, when Jørn Utzon’s vision was brought to life. It’s quite a responsibility to care for one of the world’s most treasured icons, however it’s one that the Cushman & Wakefield team are proud to embrace.