The contract, won through a competitive tender, is for early contractor involvement (ECI) in the first stage of the building renewal programme, which will be carried out over the next five years.
The programme is the largest package of works since the Opera House opened in 1973. It includes upgrades to the Opera House‘s two largest internal performance spaces - the Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre - as well as improvements to the entry and foyers and new creative learning and function centres.
Under the ECI contract, Laing O’Rourke will work with the Opera House and its design teams to ensure the programme is as efficient as possible and provides the best value for money. Each project will progress through a series of review points before moving on to the construction phase.
Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron said: “We are delighted to work with such an experienced team on these vital projects to renew the Opera House for future generations. Working on a building that is both one of the world’s busiest performing arts centres and a World Heritage-listed masterpiece of 20th century architecture is complex. We believe Laing O’Rourke’s early involvement will help us determine the best way to carry out our Stage 1 Renewal works and ensure that audiences and visitors continue to enjoy all the Opera House has to offer while these critical upgrades are being undertaken.”
Laing O'Rourke Australia’s managing director, Cathal O’Rourke, added: “The work the Opera House has already done to digitally map the entire structure – combined with Laing O’Rourke’s Digital Engineering expertise – will help deliver the best result for the venue’s 8.2 million annual visitors, thousands of performers and the wider Australian community, who all feel a sense of ownership over the UNESCO World Heritage site.”
The first project to reach construction will be the upgrade of the Joan Sutherland Theatre. This theatre, the second largest internal venue at the Opera House, will be closed from May to December 2017 to replace its end of life equipment.