Term Paper: Planning Design of Hospitality Facilities

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Planning and Design Hospitality

The Sydney Opera House is one of the most photographed buildings in the world. It has received many architecture and design awards and it is one of the most striking design features in Australia, and one of the few buildings of its nature that is still being used for its original purpose, as a theater and performing arts venue. The expressionist building was designed by Jorn Utzon and began construction in 1957. The building was a considerable undertaking that was not completed until 1973. (Craven, 2008, NP)

On first seeing Bennelong Point, he exclaimed to a Sydney Morning Herald reporter, 'It's absolutely breathtaking. There's no opera site in the world to compare with it...this site is even more beautiful than in the photographs from which I worked.' (Murray, 2004, p. 1)

Utzon's design stood out from the very start and the space allotted the project challenged the design concepts as well as the ability of Utzon to create adequate accommodations (seating) and utility within it.

The assessors' report said, 'We consider this scheme to be the most original and creative submission "The white sail-like forms of the shell vaults relate as naturally to the harbour as the sails of its yachts." In defence of the judges' decision, Ashworth told the Sun Herald, "I was surprised there were not more schemes of a more advanced character in terms of architectural thinking. I imagined we'd be spoilt for choice with half a dozen outstanding designs; instead there was only one." (Murray, 2004, p. 10)

The images that are invoked by Ashworth in the above statement demonstrate that as was expected, even prior to the first concrete patch being laid on the project the Opera House would fit into the surroundings and serve as a beacon to incoming travelers for many years to come.

The Opera House, in general consists of three main structures with overlapping sail or petal like roofs that arch across the skyline, in a fluid motion. The overhead view of the design and how the space is divided can easily be seen on the Sydney Opera House Website: House Map, which is actually a convenient interactive flashplayer map: (http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/visit/precinct_map.aspx) the sail like roofs are covered with thousands of white ceramic tiles and overlap all three main structures, though amenities and services including theater, opera, shopping, fine dining and large platform event venues are all housed in the complex, as is of course parking (offsite) and impressive open spaces.

The Sydney Opera House is actually a complex of theatres and halls all linked together beneath its famous shells. Since its opening in 1973, it has become the busiest performing arts centre in the world, averaging some 3000 events a year with audiences totaling some two million, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week closing only on Christmas and Good Friday. Books have been written, and films made chronicling the sixteen years it took to complete the Sydney Opera House. (Craven, 2008, NP)

The issue of space, and especially within the back house areas, for performances as well as provisions of services has plagued the Opera House almost since its opening night. (Morgan, 2006, NP) the idea has been to let the platform cut through like a knife and separate primary and secondary functions completely. On top of the platform the spectators receive the completed work of art and beneath the platform every preparation for it takes place." (Craven, 2008, NP) plan was begun to attempt to remedy this issue in the late 1990s, and after much discussion it was decided that Utzon would need to consult on the project to ensure that any changes stayed within the boundaries of his original design. In this work Utzon had this to say about great design

When you build a building like the Opera House it is like an oil painting by one of the Masters where every time you add a brush stroke it should enhance the total painting, as soon as you put something wrong in this painting, a wrong colour, a wrong shape, then the total image is of a lesser value than it would have been if the same artist had been allowed to complete the picture. (Utzon, 2002, p. 39)

Utzon's design of the Opera House is still obviously very much a part of his creative ideas, as this document clearly demonstrates his care for detail in the design process as well as his desire for the design structure to remain true to the original plan. It must also be stressed the Utzon does not suggest making changes within the complex that reflect exactly his design plans from the 1960's as he states that changes need to be made that further reflect technological advances in architecture, built space design, utilities, maintenance and of course performing arts. (Utzon, 2002, p. 32)

The visible part of the complex is essentially a series of spaces sitting on top of a large staircase. External circulation and the platform element have been combined in a way that evokes notions of Greek theater, a precedent appropriate in its capacity to evoke notions of theater itself. (Gero & Maher, 1993, p. 69)

The Sydney Opera House is clearly an example of one of the greatest expressions of excellence in design that has been created in the modern world. Despite the fact that the back house has never been large enough to fully accommodate all of the many functions that are housed within it, the design has met all the expectations that were grandly assigned it by those who proposed the Opera House in the first place, as well as by the many millions of visitors who have visited and the many millions more who wish to do so. The Opera House is a demonstration of clear innovation and design meeting function.

It is not difficult to argue that the development of the structure is indicative of excellence in design theory, as the whole of the artistic endeavor is clearly articulated by Utzon, from form and color to function, through out the inception and construction of the project, which consumed a great portion of his young life. The character of the space, both inside and out is significantly grand, leading the visitor to a different world view, based on the sheer size and converse intimacy of the spaces.

Utzon's open expression of his design intentions and theories demonstrate a collective of scholarly works associated with the complex and many demonstrative interpretations of the design. Utzon, stresses the use of the platform, as well as the floating roofline concept, as they apply to varied structures from different cultures.

Utzon suggested that his notion of platform and its capacity to evoke a sense of strength and calmness has been gleaned from sources as diverse as Mayan architecture and Chinese houses and temples. He explicitly acknowledged a relationship between precedents such as these and the strong platform element in the Sydney Opera House. Furthermore he drew attention to the interplay between roof and structure in Chinese and Japanese traditional architecture, commenting that a flat roof is insufficient to express the flatness of a platform. If we accept that this notion of platform coupled with the notion of a floating roof structure (Figures 4.4 and 4.5) provided the basis for the Sydney Opera House design, then the final proposal may be seen as a masterful adaptation of these elements to the specific context. The use of the strong platform element to evoke a feeling of stability and permanence has been coupled with its use as a means of providing uncomplicated circulation. (Gero & Maher, 1993, p. 69)

The design has also been unprecedented in its expression of the form, as well in the grand nature of the undertaking and yet it has also not ever really been mimicked in any way. Both of these facts clearly lead the viewer to an understanding of the uniqueness and success of the structure in both form and function.

The work meets or exceeds all the elements of design as well as the principles of design, excluding the minor frustration of the aging and shrinking space in the background of the complex. The line of the design is fluid and organic, as was intended by the designer, and despite the cold materials and colors. The shape of the design is clearly representative of the surrounding area, and is also in contrast to the cityscape in the background, and the water in the foreground. Of the principles of design the complex most demonstratively expresses balance, and contrast.

As Pritzker Laureate and Juror Frank Gehry puts it, "Utzon made a building well ahead of its time, far ahead of available technology, and he persevered through extraordinary malicious publicity and negative criticism to build a building that changed the image of an entire country. It is the first time in our lifetime that an epic piece of architecture has gained such universal presence." (Craven, 2008, NP)

In conclusion the Sydney Opera… [END OF PREVIEW]

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