Famous and iconic, any company that handles Sydney marquee hire, indeed, any local Aussie knows of the Sydney Opera House. The landmark has been undergoing a $273 million renewal programme, a series of upgrades to its space, which will include work on the famous Concert Hall.
Recently, work on one part of the programme has completed the redesign of a new space in the Opera House, the first opening since 2004; the Yallamundi Rooms. The opening is timed with the removal of the events marquee from the Northern Boardwalk, considered by a many, even those who handle Sydney marquee hire, as a bit of an eyesore.
The space can be accessed from the recently cleared Northern Boardwalk, and acts as a flexible event centre, capable of adapting to the needs of events. The design incorporates natural materials like timber, complimenting other spaces in the Opera House and preserving those harbour views.
The redesign was conceptualized by Aussie architecture firm, Tonkin Zulaikha Greer, with Tim Greer leading the team. TZG had worked on the Opera House in the past, having been responsible for the work done on the Bennelong Restaurant.
Building Director for the Sydney Opera House, Ian Cashen, says that a lot of effort went into making sure that the heritage stuck; with one of the key considerations during the project being making the space functional whilst keeping as much of the original fabric as possible. He says that the facade hasn’t been touched by the work, at all, retaining the off-form concrete walls, the white birch moulded timber panels affectionately referred to as the ‘wobblies’, and even the pink granite floors.
Cashen says that they did what they could to get the most mileage out of their heritage value, to do as little modification to the space as possible while making everything work cohesively. The design, as a result, features a lot of elements of reuse, with the old parts merging together with the newer ones.
The ocean-blue walls can now be moved, allowing the space to be divided into smaller spaces, if the need for hosting different events in the rooms ever pops up.