The Sydney Opera House is widely considered one of the most distinctive structures in the world. With its cascading sails and prominent location, it’s become the defining structure for not just Sydney but all of Australia. But did you know that under the Opera House lies another interesting, first-of-its-kind structure? A little-known fact about the iconic building is that it extends nearly the same distance underground. The multi-venue performing arts centre is home to a double helix concrete car park that stretches 12 storeys beneath the ground making it the deepest car park in the world.
Sydney Opera House Car Park
The helical underground car park is designed as a huge doughnut-shaped cavern with a span of up to 19 m and an outer radius of 75 m. It provides parking space for 1100 cars and is considered the widest shallow-cover rock cavern in the world. At 120 feet or 37 metres, it provides an excellent solution for space and parking woes in the city.
Interestingly, most underground car parks are no more than 4 or 5 storeys deep. Construction on the carpark was completed in 1992 after excavation of the cavern and tunnels with the project costing around $45 million — delivered under budget and months before it was due to open.
A little further down the road from Circular Quay, Wynyard Station is hiding its own cool secrets in the form of hidden tunnels that have been around since the 1930s.
Source: Australian Tunnelling Society