Having got my bearings in an unfamiliar city I was free to explore on my own.
Starting the day late and with a general awareness that I was mainly eating plane food and not doing much exercise I headed down to the nearest outdoor pool. Tooting lido is nice enough, but the Arthur Charlton pool was on the sea and formidably overlooked by an aircraft carrier! Sydney 1, London 0
Swimming finished, I did my usual walk through the botanical gardens to the Sydney Opera house. I’d previously only seen the opera house from the water on my trip yesterday to Manly and earnestly wandered around the podium putting my architects head on in the process:
The thing that struck me first was that the distinctive concave shapes were all tiled; I was expecting it to be smooth faced, grey concrete. You could tell, even in the dull sunlight that the tiles had a real shimmer to them.
I signed up for the tour and a lot of air time was given to the architect but none at all to engineer Arup, which I was shocked at; seeing as it as much his building as Utzon’s (am I really sticking up for an Engineer?)
The pedestrian approaches the opera house on podium level, this makes the building feel smaller than what you’d expect. I imagine that’s because most photos you see of the opera house are taken from the water-a good 6 metres lower down than the podium level.
Part of Utzon’s design philosophy was showing the details of the building and framing the surrouding views. Even from the outside the glass seemed to be angled to when up close you can glimpse the city beyond.