It's been 15 years since the Sydney Opera House last opened a new venue (the intimate Utzon Room), which makes a lot of sense considering it's an architectural marvel that nobody really wants to mess with. But something people are always willing to mess with? An ugly white marquee.
Between 2001 and 2018, a big marquee stood on the Northern Boardwalk as the Opera House's pop-up-but-really-sort-of-permanent function space. We suspect it's not what original architect Jørn Utzon had in mind for the harbour-facing end of his Opera House.
Architecture fans can now breathe a sigh of relief: the white marquee is gone, revealing the original facade of the building. In its place is a brand new function venue that's been built into the ground floor the Opera House itself. The space used to be taken up by offices and a kitchen that catered for the marquee.
Called the Yallamundi Rooms (Yallamundi is a Gadigal name meaning "storyteller") the venue has been designed to pay tribute to the original architecture of the building. It's also pretty simple in terms of design – the concrete of the building is all exposed and the only bold colour is in deep blue room dividers that reflect the colour of the harbour outside – which means it's a pretty versatile space.
The Opera House says the rooms will be used for everything from community celebrations to private events and small-scale performances. They hold 400 people standing and 180 people seated, and they can be divided into three separate spaces.
And the good news? Anybody can make a booking themselves. So you can hire the venue for your wedding. Hire fees range from $2,900 for half a day to $9,000 for the full venue for a full day. Obviously that doesn't include catering, which is by Trippas White Group, led by ambassador chef Karen Martini. You can make an inquiry by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Opera House isn't our only architectural wonder – check out the ten most beautiful buildings in Sydney.