Saturday, 14 April 2007

The House that Robert and I built !!!

When Nathalie was just a twinkle in her parent's eyes in the Rhône-Alpes, ADP's intrepid photographer was roaming over a very different Alpe.
Robert and I travelled to Sydney on several occasions to watch the fantastic, new Sydney Opera House, take shape, and we crawled all over it. As Architecture and Surveying students, we simply walked in and joined one of the many tours organized by the local faculties.
This photo was taken from the roof of the - then Unilever Building on Circular Quay in 1965. Thanks to Robert for the image and also for enhancing the original Kodachrome. All my shots were Black and White and I was lucky enough to have them published in the Sydney Daily Telegraph on the occasion of the Architect, Jørn Utzon's return in 2002 after an absence of 37 years.

You definitely must click and ENLARGE this photo.


Nathalie said...


This is awesome! I had never seen anything similar!!!!!

I am absolutely delighted, you made my day (my night???)

Lucky you who saw this masterpiece in the making. Bet you crawled all over it. I would have done the same.

I'll come back to see it many times again!

M.Benaut said...

Le Rhône-Alpes ? Est-ce que j'étais correct ?
Je suis très heureux de voir que vous êtes enchanté avec ma photo, merci, Nathalie.

Monica said...

This is awesome! To be able to see this fantastic building in it's early years is great. Thanks!

Carol E. said...

This is so cool!! I am definitely going to show this to my husband who is an architect.

freelancer said...

Wooaouu very impressive !

lynn said...

Very, very interesting. Thanks, poetry person.

lynn said...

You must get Dive over here.

M.Benaut said...

OK, leave it to me.

dive said...

WOW!, Monsieur B! You have exceeded even you own high standards. That is a stunning photo.
The second most beautiful building in the world (close behind the Taj Mahal), actually being born!
It brings a tear of joy to this old architect's eye.
Merçi beaucoup, Monsieur.

Annie said...

What a generous person you are, to share this little bit of history, yours and Sydney's, with us.

riniroo said...

Thank you for the history lesson. I never would have seen this stage of construction if it wasn't for you. I DO appreciate Daily Photo. Thanks!

clo. said...

M.Benaut. This is a historic picture of a world famous building. Thank you for giving us a glimpse of the time it was being built.

I know of another architect who lives in the suburbs of Australia (Quakes Hill). Is this a nice area? Have you any pictures of it?

You see he is supposed to be a nephew but he is much older than me so I, as a kid, had to listen and if necessary obey the word of my nephew. Unbelievable what uncles have to put with.

Olive said...

Wow, this is an amazing photo!! One of(if not THE) best photo I have EVER seen on DPs!! Thank you for posting it!

Terroni said...

Wow, I'm so glad I discovered you when I did. I would have hated to miss this!

Sally said...

Fantastic shot! And great commentary.

Read an obit of a famous Sydney conductor and musician the other day in which he said it is true that we have the best Opera theatre in the world.

The exterior is in Sydney, the interior in melbourne, and the parking in Adelaide!

The shortcomings of the interior (NOT Utzon's fault) are legendary.

Would love to see some of your b & w shots. Do you have a link?

Glenn Standish said...

What an amazing picture! I have never seen images of the construction of the Opera House before. This is simply amazing. You should get it published in some Aussie history book!!

I guess the picture was taken on a I cannot see any people. Which makes the whole image rather haunting.

Thanks for entering our competition over at Toruń Daily Photo. Your suggestion was fantastic and extremely hillarious!!

M.Benaut said...

Nathalie, Monica, Carol E, Freelancer, Lynn, M. Dive, Annie, Riniroo, Clovis, Olive, Terroni, Sally, Glen.

Crikey, I am bowled over by all nice things that you have said. Thank you so much.

I was extremely hesitant to post this photo, because Sally and Nathalie, naturally, run the Sydney side of things and I felt like it would be trespassing. When Nathalie expressed delight at the idea, I did it, risking Sally's opinion. Sorry Sally.

Tonight I will have a change of pace, and yet again take you to the "Back of Beyond". To A little town, perhaps not so well-known as Sydney, and a couple of "Petits garçons très mauvais."

Sally said...

It's marvellous - you never know, Adelaide may show up in my blog one day!

Oh, I remember standing on a viewing platform watching construction in about 1968 I think - first visit to Sydney as a kid from Melbourne.

M.Benaut said...

That would be terriffic, after all, Sydney is really just a suburb of Adelaide ???
I can't wait to see what you show us. Please, do it.

Dsole said...

M Benaut, what a terrific photo!!!
It could be great to make an old photo theme day which some really old photos of our city.. don't you think?
that's so cool!

M.Benaut said...

You are very observant, spotting the lack of workmen in the Opera House photo.
Robert has reminded me that the photo was taken during the Christmas holidays of 1965, probably just before New Years Day.
Three of us left Adelaide on 27 December 1965 in Bernie's '179' manual EH Holden. We arrived back in Adelaide on 9 January 1966.... after spinning out coming down the Old Mt Barker road. We then knocked off 'a bottle of beer' at home, to steady our nerves.
They were certainly very exciting days.

M.Benaut said...

That's a wonderful idea. I'm all for it.
And also a theme day where we can show a funny travel shot.
I do not know how I will manage in September when in Paris. I'll have to post shots of Eric taking shots of things on the footpaths.

Gerald England said...

Great to see an historical photo. I won't attempt to cap the superlatives others have already given.

M.Benaut said...

Sort of a bigger bandstand really when one thinks on it. Nice to see you again, Monsieur.

Full said...

Dive told me I had to see this and he was right.


Kuanyin said...

I agree with all the accolades...amazing shot and story! Bravo!