Sydney Architecture Images- Gone but not forgotten

Sydney Entertainment Centre


Edwards, Madigan, Torzillo and Briggs (now HBO + EMTB)


35 Harbour St, Darling Harbour


Built- 1983   Demolished- 2016


Late 20th-Century Brutalist hero architecture


Reinforced concrete and steel
Builder- Civil and Civic Lend Lease
Owner Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority


Summary Designed to accommodate all types of entertainment (rock to ballet to sport) it was, when built, the largest enclosed space ever built in Australia.
Its 1700 tonne roof, with trusses spanning in 100m x 85m, was supported on a massive concrete ring-beam circling the auditorium, and born on a series of tall blade-like concrete columns.
Below, the wrap-around foyers are contained within the crisply detailed box-like minimalist glazed section. Inaugurated in mid-1983 its board shuttered bare concrete- the recognised badge of modernity for many 70s and 80s architects- unfortunately rapidly discoloured and gave the building a dismal aspect. The concrete was covered by aluminium composite panels in the early nineties.
Above- the corner with the McDonalds, and on the site previously.
It opened in May 1983, to replace Sydney Stadium, which had been demolished in 1970 to make way for the Eastern Suburbs railway line and has hosted concerts and sport events for 27 million people.
Over the past 32 years, 4,000 concerts have been held at the venue which holds 13,000 people.

Frequent performers:

Sydney Kings - 327
Disney on Ice - 269
Schools Spectacular - 94
The Wiggles - 82
Torvill and Dean - 61
Elton John - 45
John Farnham - 40

Iconic Australian band Cold Chisel was the last local act to take to the stage on Friday night after first appearing not long after it opened.

Cold Chisel performed two sets, the second reproducing their Last Stand set list from 1983.

Cold Chisel and Jimmy Barnes have each performed at the venue a total of 22 times.

Centre general manager Steve Hevern said Sir Elton had performed there 45 times.