Laing O'rourke Wins Key Opera House Renewal Contract


Laing O’Rourke Australia has won a competitive tender for Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) in the Sydney Opera House’s Stage 1 Building Renewal program, which comprises $250 million of projects to be carried out over the next five years.   



The program is the largest package of works since the Opera House opened in 1973.  It includes upgrades to the Opera House‘s two largest internal performance spaces, the Concert Hall and Joan Sutherland Theatre, as well as upgrades to the entry and foyers and new creative learning and function centres.

Under the ECI contract, Laing O’Rourke will work with the Opera House and its design teams to ensure the program is as efficient as possible and provides the best value for money. Each project will progress through a series of review points before moving on to the construction phase.

Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron AM welcomed the appointment. “We are delighted to work with such an experienced team on these vital projects to renew the Opera House for future generations,” Ms Herron said.

“Working on a building that is both one of the world’s busiest performing arts centres and a World Heritage-listed masterpiece of 20th century architecture is complex. We believe Laing O’Rourke’s early involvement will help us determine the best way to carry out our Stage 1 Renewal works and ensure that audiences and visitors continue to enjoy all the Opera House has to offer while these critical upgrades are being undertaken.”

Laing O'Rourke Australia’s Managing Director, Cathal O’Rourke, said he was delighted with the opportunity to work on renewing one of the world’s most iconic buildings.

“We are excited and honoured to be working on this landmark building and look forward to collaborating with the Opera House and its design teams to identify the smartest, most efficient and sensitive solutions for this important project,” Mr O’Rourke said.

“The work the Opera House has already done to digitally map the entire structure – combined with Laing O’Rourke’s Digital Engineering expertise – will help deliver the best result for the venue’s 8.2 million annual visitors, thousands of performers and the wider Australian community, who all feel a sense of ownership over the UNESCO World Heritage site.”

The first project to reach construction will be the upgrade of the Joan Sutherland Theatre.  This theatre, the second largest internal venue at the Opera House, will be closed from May to December 2017 to replace its end of life equipment.

Sydney Opera House

The Opera House is a masterpiece that belongs to all Australians. It is the country’s number one tourist destination and its busiest performing arts centre, welcoming more than 8.2 million visitors a year on site and hosting 2,000 performances attended by 1.5 million people. Deloitte has estimated the total social asset value of the Sydney Opera House to Australia at $4.6 billion.

On its 40th Anniversary in 2013, the Opera House embarked upon a Decade of Renewal to prepare it for future generations of artists, audiences and visitors.