436: Sydney Opera House

Anyone who knows me understands my fascination with the Sydney Opera House, as a kid I saw the sails of it being built:

Set magnificently on Bennelong Point right in the heart of the harbour, it together with the Sydney Harbour Bridge (no, do not panic, I am not making that) are quintessential Australian icons.

Googling one day I stumbled across a design idea from Gerwin Sturm (2007) for a box pleated version of my fav building on earth, and some vague explanations of how it “should be possible to collapse and shape based on a 32×32 grid”.

I took a huge (70cm sq) sheet of 70GSM Kraft paper (in retrospect, I wish I had chosen a finer grade) and proceeded on the voyage of discovering what was possible with this model. Using the grid as a guide, collapsing and transforming, wrapping and stretching it certainly has been a test of ingenuity.

It has taken me an age – determined to protect the paper from fatigue, using mock up sections to work out how to solve problems like the podium, stairs, basic shell placement and overall scale. the end result I am very proud of.

This version (my version of the model – can I claim part designership?) has 2 lovely sets of stairs, a completely coloured podium (the reverse side of the paper is completely hidden inside the model), main concert and opera theaters are on an off-centre axis, Bennelong restaurant suitably distant and the vestiges of those delicious graceful curves that make the building unique.

This was, in case you missed it, WTF (What’s That Fold?) #7, and was guessed finally by Miriam – yay! No idea what I will do with it, still basking in it’s prescence and wondering how something so tiny could consume me so completely for over 2 weeks. Gotta love hobbies hey 😛

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