What does it take to renew an icon?

Adam Vassallo, Project Manager, and Dorsa Faghireh, Cadet, joined UNSW students to discuss the iconic Concert Hall Renewal Project.

The Sydney Opera House is one of the most recognisable buildings of the 20th century, with the Concert Hall – affectionately known as the heart of the Opera House – attracting a diverse range of contemporary performers and events. Adam Vassallo joined Construction Management and Property Program students to discuss the transformational works that will bring the world-famous development into the 21st century.

Managing the monumental Concert Hall Renewal Project is no small feat, especially when balancing the update of theatre systems and building fabric with heritage responsibilities. Overseeing the installation of new stage machinery and winch cable systems capable of lifting four times the weight of previous installations, Adam explained how the Taylor team installed 174 tonnes of new structural steel, placed 720 tonnes of concrete and laid 300 kilometres of cable to bring the design to life.

Students received unique insights into the role of an award-winning Project Manager, with Adam sharing a detailed ‘Day in the Life’ that outlined his day-to-day responsibilities and movements. Following this, Adam led a review of the Concert Hall Renewal Project’s delivery timeline and technical installations – most of which include meticulous architectural detailing.

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Dorsa Faghireh then detailed her personal experience in Taylor’s Cadet Program, which aims to develop future leaders by providing employment opportunity and professional development experiences that support and complement a related course of external tertiary studies. Based on her personal experience working on the Concert Hall Renewal Project, Dorsa discussed the ongoing training, guidance and support received from workplace mentors, including Adam.

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra is currently in preparations for the Concert Hall’s first performance on reopening, scheduled for 20 July. The wider precinct has remained open to audiences throughout the duration of construction. For more information on the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall Renewals, please visit this website.

Many thanks to UNSW, Benson Lim, Adam Vassallo and Dorsa Faghireh for making this event possible.