Photos from Fotosearch. Construction on the Sydney Opera House designed by Danish architect Joern Utzon, commenced in 1956 and wascompleted in 1973. It is Heritage listed. Old fashionned and parochial NSW Government officials initially gave the design the thumbs down, describing it as a "sculpture resembling copulating turtles". The Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen fortunately managed to rescue it in the end.