October 20, 2018 marked the 45th anniversary of the opening of the Sydney Opera House, one of the world's most iconic pieces of architecture. The Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) has used this momentous occasion to reflect on the building's past, present and future, particularly regarding the structure's use as an advertising platform.
The Australian Institute of Architecture (AIA)'s national president Clare Cousins has described the Opera House as an astounding work of architecture and a source of national pride and global acclaim.
"This building, with its perfect form and geometry, heralded Australia's evolution from fledgeling nation to confident world player," says Cousins.
"It is deeply disappointing that governments, at both the state and Commonwealth level, recently failed to protect and uphold the cultural values of this international icon, allowing it to be exploited with commercial advertising. It is the institute's position that using buildings like the Opera House for purposes so contrary to the public interest is unacceptable, disrespectful and does untold damage to brand Australia on the international stage."
"These unfortunate events have served as a clarion call to the community and more specifically to the architectural profession," says AIA's NSW chapter president, Andrew Nimmo.
"The Institute has responded by redoubling our efforts to prevent such a lapse in due process and proper judgement ever being repeated. We are committed to ensuring the cultural value and integrity of the Sydney Opera House is protected, ensuring this public building is never again exploited in this way. As architects, we need to be vocal in protecting our iconic buildings and precincts."