Hear the story of how Australian architect Peter Hall finished what Jorn Utzon could not … the Sydney Opera House.

Dr Anne Watson has forensically researched the story – combing Peter Hall’s archives and interviewing architects and designers who worked with him. She has exploded the myth that what was designed after Utzon’s departure was heavily compromised and thus not worth bothering about. In fact, the Sydney Opera House is the work of two – not one – architects. Jorn Utzon and Peter Hall.

“It is now half a century since Jorn Utzon spectacularly resigned as architect of the unfinished Sydney Opera House. On 28 February 1966, he submitted his letter of resignation to the New South Wales government and flew out of Sydney, never to return. He left behind a set of magnificent concrete shells – but not only was the building unfinished, plans for the completion of its interiors and cladding were far from resolved.

“It was into this perilous void that the 34-year-old Sydney architect Peter Hall bravely, or perhaps naively, stepped in April 1966 as part of the government-appointed consortium Hall Todd & Littlemore.

Charged with finishing the building, Hall, as design architect, was confronted with a perplexing logjam of problems, not the least of which was the pressing need to resolve the impasse over the conflicting seating and acoustic requirements of the dual-purpose main hall. For both Utzon and Hall the project was, in different ways, a poisoned chalice.” – Dr Anne Watson, The Poisoned Chalice

Source: The Sydney Institute