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Restructuring Of An Architectural Marvel Sydney Opera House

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Building of a new Opera House

One of the wondrous of an architecture, an icon for art, Sydney Opera House is a piece of excellence and an evidence of refined technological skills. It is the face of Sydney and a worldwide fame for art and culture.

The construction of Opera House was a task of full of challenges with intrusion of conflicting views and nose poking by the Government agencies (Fromonot, 1998). A well thought plan was not able to get implemented and the costs were escalating at an exponential rate. Hence, a new opera house construction is under the task and under the guidance of project management. The project aspirations should be mapped into well thought plans with missions and prospective goals.

A capable organization

For a capable organization, a competent project manager is the soul. They manage the objectives, build up the requirements, mange any kind of constraint imbibing to the principles of cost, scope and quality. These most critical aspects of time, cost and quality should be decided in the requirement analysis phase with a vision to complete the target in the proposed dimensions. Architectural freedom(Murray, 2003) is necessary but it should be provided within the permissible limits of laws and requirements, clearly stating everything required in the initial phase itself. The chief architect of SOH project, Utzon, was given complete freedom in every aspect of project development and there were intrusions from the Government before the completion of design which lead to a poor implementation with escalated costs and delayed completion. Hence, it is evident that requirement analysis phase (Bourne, 2007) is the most critical time of project analysis. The aspects of design should be amalgamated with complexities of time and cost for efficient execution of the plan. For rebuilding SOH, requirements would be critically gathered and frozen before entering onto the next design phase and efficient construction plan would be prepared within the proposed deadline and prescribed budget before heading on to actual implementation.

It is a myth that collaboration between the project heads would be sufficient for such a great project and hence it is essential to have project manager to dwell deeper into every critical issue and coordinate with the heads to manage and balance of the dimensions(Shofner, 2006) of project undertaken. Technical training for juniors architects is a must for executing highly skilled plan and project. A project manager wears a multi-colored hat of responsibilities(Kerzner, 2013) ensuring that everyone is feeling empowered and is executing respective tasks. Starting from development of the project plan, heading towards management of potential stakeholders, communication plans, project schedule, budget, and then moving forward for risks or potential threats. Project manager plays a principal role in real life projects. If there is an executing committee, member must be skilled and aware of every potential opportunity and beware of any potential threat. Strengths of any organization targeting for a new design of opera house would be the key stakeholders involved, their knowledge and skills, their innovative practices and their competencies to make a balance between cost, time and quality.

Management skills and Innovation

Capabilities to successfully complete the task would be borne out of a well made, discussed and implemented requirement document with an inclusion of every aspect of project headed by a manager. Innovation is a key catalyst(Cleland, 1999) and a driving force for every project management. At that time of development, technology was not so advanced to incorporate changes in the middle phases of project design but, as far as modern times are concerned, agile practices (Dalcher, 2009)can be put into effect so that any requirement change can be flexibly imbibed in the project plan and executed in the project design without much increase in costs or delays in the plan. The goals proposed should be optimistic but should prevent from being over optimistic. Semantic web (Schevers, 2007) principles should be put into practice with latest advancements.

Agile practices are innovative skills that should be made a part of the project for redesigning of SOH project in order to prevent any kind of delays or potential failures. To bring ideas to fruition, government policies, client’s requirements and project budgets must be clearly defined and understood prior to initiation of design phase. An extensive analysis phase is required by a skilled team in order to accommodate every necessary element of project development.

Other innovative strategies for construction of the roof should be implemented by finalizing the architecture plan and including all the aspects of technical, transformational and transactional roles(Watson, 2006). There must be graphically mapped engineering design techniques implemented for design of various patterns of the roofs to minimize the cost and optimize the presentation. Earlier the process for roof design was iterative but now conventional approaches should be overcome by other models of project development which includes risks, call for changes and are efficient in enhancing the productivity and construction practices in less amount of time. Various layers can be constructed in parallel with an aim to reduce time of overall project development.

Relevant domains of knowledge

It is quite critical to excel and empower in key knowledge arenas before taking up the project. This large scaled SOH project needs to have a leader more than a manager. There are various areas such as project perspective, architectural bend, engineering excellence(Morris, 1983), project analysis, critical evaluation, risk management, resource allocation etc. which needs to be mastered. There is a need of various innovative practices, and project tools for management tasks like, work breakdown structures, value management, and critical path analysis etc. Project manager should have a control of every dimension of the project and he is the face of it.

An architect project lead should have multi-faceted design (House, 1976)approach and should cooperate with construction manager or consultant to cater to the issues of budget, quality control or scheduling.

An engineering project lead should have an insight through all stages of research and development taking into account a knowledge of laws, requirements or infrastructure varying from region to region.

Cordial relation with communities

It is crucial to develop cordial and communicative relationship, with all the committees involved by including their fair requirements and by catering to their policies which fall in the domain of the project tasks. Also, some of the constraints of the project should be explained by the project manager to the committees involved. This is an evidence of competency of the project manager and the team. Communities are appointed to monitor all the tasks and to have a control over the activities, budget and time of the project. Project manager must have an open communication with these communities in order to incorporate requirements, changes, updates, potential opportunities(El-Sabaa, 2001) or threats for the ongoing project. Views and feedback of the communities must be regarded and respected.

Feasibility check

Economic Aspect: Economically the project can be balanced to have a proper planning prior to the design phase by freezing the requirements and to keep a margin to incorporate changes at a later phase. A complete budget report(Whetten, 2011) should be prepared and discussed with the respective authority.

Technical Aspect: It is quite feasible to include various innovative and technologically advanced practices into the functioning but keeping a check over knowledge and skills of the construction workers and junior engineers involved. Computer aided design (Drew, 1999)techniques must be included with proper guidance given to the staff for an effective use.

Operational Aspect: The construction and engineering tasks taken up by the project should be aided by consultants and experienced managers in order to effectively operate the procedures and develop the tasks.

Gaps and Requirements




Cost overrun


An extensive insight into costs and preparing an initial contract for overall cost with slight modifications

Deadline exceeded


Complete planning and full analysis of time schedule with due dates and abidance of deadlines

        Iterative but innovative practices


Technologically proficient and incorporating of agile principles into practice along with tools

Non flexible to include changes at a later phase


Flexible approaches towards project development

Manual planning and compilation


Automated tools and principles of constructions and management


Communication plan for the project should be planned well in advance and must be fulfilled as per the assigned roles. The documents are an agreement and hence they should be prepared, preserved and practiced during the project life cycle.



Document Name

Document format

Document Due date

Project Manager, Project Engineer, Project Architect,


Requirement Analysis Document

Complete requirements from coordination of clients

Before initiation of design phase and freezing of requirements and plan

Project Manager, Project Engineer, Project Architect

Design Document

Mapping of requirements to structure design for approval

Before starting of construction project, design should be complete

Project Manager

Government Agencies, Client

Legal Document

Approved document with law and order

Before and during requirement analysis

Project Manager,

Project Architect,


Construction Manual

Technical document specifying intricacies of architectural details and designs

At the end of the design phase to initiate construction phase.

Project Manager,

Project Engineer

Interior Manual

Design specification for interior engineering and mechanical principles and requirements

To be prepared partially before initiation of construction phase and partly during it.

Project Manager,



Milestones Report

A periodic analysis of development cycle and achievable milestones

During complete life cycle of project development.

Hence, it is widely exemplified that the role of a project manager is really crucial in regard with every communication plan, to monitor and act as a bridge between every other stakeholder and maintaining a good flow of communication via written documents among all the stakeholders in all the phases of project development and construction.

Risks associated

With adoption of various innovation techniques and best technological practices, there are various risks incurring such as delays due to natural factors, change of government policies, on-site accidents and numerous more. One would be crucial selection of engineers and architects to be appointed for the project, to check their competency for a large scale, multi-million dollar project and to evaluate their experience and skills. This could be done by efficient screening prior to allocation of tasks. An unquestionable lead of the project manager could lead to a greater risk for avoiding potential drawbacks occurring in the development of the system. A collaboration of team and suggestions by all should be welcomed and given regard to come up with a best design in least possible time and budget. Input of some great minds is better than lead of one individual. In case of any appointed committee(Ziegler, 1973), members should be able to guide the practices and not just hold a political view. Other construction, technical or performance risks were involved with introduction of new technologies and use of computer aided mechanisms with less competency of workers.


Risk Area


Risk Owner

Project Impact-Mitigation Plan


Site accidents during construction leading to loss of life or curbing the development


The responsibility of risks lies over the Project Architect who is planning and controlling the tasks and over contractor handling the construction job

Site accidents can be controlled by careful monitoring of the plan and careful implementation of activities.


Inexperienced personnel either in team, committee or governing body.


This is the task of project manager to appoint personnel based over experience in large scale real life projects

Complete and careful screening of contenders and having an insight into their working background.


Incompetency of committee selected


Government who appointed the committee members

Technically aware group to provide valuable suggestions


Introduction of new technologies


Project manager and other heads adopting new technologies with untrained personnel

Training of the employees with use of computers to calculate mechanical aspects

The final plan

Hence, it is suggested to have a final plan with lead of a project manager, specifying all the critical details prior to design phase and with humble coordination of appointed legal committees and government. So, rebuilding of Opera House could be successful with blend of innovation and spices of management.



It is really important to have an insight of who is important and what counts for the development of any architectural project. Stakeholders can pose both as an opportunity or as a potential threat.


Internal/ External




To have a control over each department and analyze & monitor all the elements of project



To develop project plan well completed in requirement phase to incur a list of complete architect and techniques used with potential technologies required.



To have a deep analysis of structural engineering and to incorporate key ideas of every field of engineering and to develop plans.



To take up contracts handling physics of system, mechanics of the project and other essential requirements.

LEGAL COMMITTEES(Should be technically aware and skilled)


To monitor the tasks and have a check about deadline and costs.



To go hand in hand with legal constructs and to give permissions and a threshold for freedom for architectural plans.

CUSTOMER OR CLIENT( state of new South Wales)


To approve and mention all the requirements prior to design and to cooperate in project development.



To handle technologies required like computer based 3D site positioning machine or geothermal pumps etc.



To build required designs in the allotted budget and within the time line of deadlines.


This table gives relevant skills and roles taken up by each stakeholder.


Project Manager

Project Engineer

Project Architect


Government Agencies







Role in Project

Leader, Mentor, Controller

Key issues regarding engineering aspects

Key issues for design and modeling

Monitor and check the ongoing process

Legalize and politicize the proceedings

Unique Features

Competent Leadership, Visionary

Knowledgeable, Skilled, Competent,


Skilled, Efficient

Cooperative, Skilled, Technical

Legal, Cooperative, Less intrusive

Level of Interest






Level of Influence






Suggestions on managing relationship

Efficient to collaborate everything under one umbrella

Skilled and technically aware to manage key tasks or outsource new technology

Skilled and aware of best suited design techniques and control over construction workers

Should completely justify any suggestions and be flexible to accept any decisions suited for the project

Should not interfere more than required and pre-decide the required threshold of freedom.


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