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Sydney Opera House: an annotated list of sources & services




Utzon Exhibition 1978

At Royal Institute of British Architects, London, 19-20 June 1978. [Source: Philip Drew's Utzon and the Sydney Opera House].


Utzon's Forecourt and Car Park Designs 1983

An exhibition of Utzon's designs for the Opera House forecourt and pedestrian and vehicular approaches, based on the Blue Book, presented by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects in the Exhibition Hall, Sydney Opera House. Project initiated by Peter Myers.


The Building of the Century Exhibition 1988/89

Produced in 1988 to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the House. Curator: Paul Bentley. Designer: William Passmore.



The exhibition powerfully underlines the [story and importance of the Opera House] to Sydneysiders with short memories and those too young to remember. [It] is a celebration of a remarkable achievement. (The Harbour Swan: fifteen years on, an exhibition reminds us what have been. Time 18 July 1988).

For a description of and response to the Building of the Century Exhibition, see Sylvia Lawson's novel The Outside Story.

Jørn Utzon exhibition 1988

Thomas Molvig curates exhibition by 14 students at Arhus Architecture School, Nørreport 20 Arhus. It is later sent to the Pompidou Centre, Paris, as the official exhibition representing Denmark, Steen Eiler Rasmussen provided support as visiting professor. [Source Philip Drew's Utzon and the Sydney Opera House].


Unseen Utzon Exhibition 1994/1995

Joint presentation of the Sydney Opera House Trust and State Library of New South Wales to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the House. SOH Project Manager: Paul Bentley; Curator: John Murphy; Production: Phil Verner.


Lawson, Sylvia. Under the shells: the Unseen Utzon, an exhibition of the unbuilt Sydney Opera House interiors. Editions, March 1995:7-8.

Mendelssohn, Joanna. Utzon's dream: what might have been. The Bulletin 25 October 1994.

Visitor comments

L & P Herzbery, Canada: This is a great and moving exhibition. I felt myself close to tears many times. It is hard to give an account of the process of inspiration. The exhibition, however, comes very close to doing so. 

R.G. McDonald, New York The meaning of excellence – before your eyes. My visits in the future will have this exhibition firmly in my memory pad

Sydney Opera House Travelling Exhibition 1994/95

Exhibition presented at the Australian Embassy in Paris, Rome Opera House, Olivanderhof in Cologne, Kennedy Centre Festival Australia. Washington, Amagasaki Centre Japan and Seoul Arts Centre, Korea. Project manager, curator, designer: Paul Bentley.


You have just one week to catch a fine exhibition at the Kennedy Center – part of this week’s Festival Australia. The curator Paul Bentley has intelligently chosen photographs, drawings, texts and videotapes that sketch out the buildings development. (Sullivan, Thomas D. Strange story of the Sydney Opera House. Washington Times, 9 October 1994).

The Studio of Jørn Utzon: Creating the Sydney Opera House 2004/2005

Exhibition presented at the Museum of Sydney 18 December 2004-1 May 2005 initiated by the City of Sydney and presented by the Historic Houses Trust of Australia in association with the Sydney Opera House Trust. Guest curator: John Murphy. Exhibition design: Kathryn Grant. Exhibition guide published by the Historical Houses Trust.


Stead, Naomi. The Studio of Jorn Utzon: Creating the Opera House [Exhibition]. Architecture Australia, v.94, no.3, May-June 2005: 35-38.

Jorn Utzon - Architecture for People 2013/1014

Exhibition presented 8 August 2013-7 January 2014 by Utzon Centre in Aalborg to celebrate the work of Jørn Utzon on the Sydney Opera House. Curated by Henrik Godsk, the exhibition included original plans, drawings, sketches and models, some of which the Danish architect took with him when he quit the project in 1966. According to a report in the Brisbane Courier Mail, many of the plans were stored in the architect's attic before being bought by an unnamed university and include detailed plans he did before he left the Opera House. "At the time of construction some of the plans were thought lost or destroyed." [Source Courier Mail Utzon Centre:]


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