British-born Australian architect Norman Selfe came very close to being known as the man who designed the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and it kinda sounds like old mate was actually done dirty. He submitted various designs for various competitions, coming second in 1900. In 1902 he won a second competition, however the bridge was never built due to an economic slowdown, which meant that and he couldn’t claim his prize money of £20,000 for further work he did on the designs. He submitted further plans in 1908, but city planners at the time favored a tunnel instead. Despite his design not being used, he was successful and well-regarded enough to have an area of the city – Normanhurst – named after him during his lifetime. We wonder how the New Year's Eve fireworks display would look when spread over three mini versions of the steel arch we know today?
The heritage-listed Sydney Harbour Bridge is as iconic to the Emerald City as the shell-like white sails of the Sydney Opera House. But you might not know that the design for the 'Coathanger', as we affectionately call it, which is the largest steel arch bridge in the world, was not decided upon very easily. In 1900, the government announced a worldwide competition for the design and construction of the bridge, and more than 70 designs were rejected. British firm Dorman Long eventually won the contract in 1924 after successive competitions were held.
That's right, the decision process took nearly a quarter of a century. The bridge we know today was opened 89 years ago in 1932, after construction started in 1923. But it could have been a very different story. Let's explore some visions of just how differently Circular Quay would look if the government had been swayed by another proposed design. These incredible digital renderings were created by UK-based creative studio NeoMam, as commissioned by Budget Direct Travel Insurance.