Supporting the arts

The Sydney Opera House is currently undergoing the biggest renovation in its history, with mageba structural bearings supporting the new stage of its main concert hall.

Since its opening in 1971, the Sydney Opera House has been one of the world’s most famous buildings, with its distinctive roof of sail-shaped shell structures. After almost 50 years serving the performing arts, it is currently undergoing a major upgrade, ensuring it can continue to serve for many more years to come. Particularly noteworthy of the project is the equipping of its largest venue, the Concert Hall, with a new stage – lower than the original one to improve sight lines, enhance the viewing experience and improve backstage access. The new stage is elevated above the building’s floor beneath by steel portal frames, which are supported by bearings. Considering the loads, movements and rotations arising, bearings of the spherical type were proposed. And considering further the need for high quality and durability in the renovation of this iconic building, and the fact that no other supplier was capable of meeting the project’s needs in the very tight timeframe allowed, RESTON® SPHERICAL bearings were selected for use. mageba’s Australian subsidiary, located in the Sydney suburbs, was well equipped and well prepared to meet the challenge, confidently undertaking to manage the design, manufacture, transport and testing of the required bearings in just nine weeks. Following design of the bearings and approval of the designs by the client, the structural bearings were fabricated in mageba’s Shanghai factory and shipped to Sydney to enable the deadline to be met. Upon arrival, they were tested at mageba’s NATA-certified laboratory (ILAC MRA) in Sydney using a project-specific test setup, and delivered to the Opera House site. Finally, to ensure proper long-term performance and to avoid any delays arising from errors or queries, mageba’s local staff were on site to supervise the bearings’ installation.

At mageba, we like to support worthy causes and ideals, as those who have received our communication over the years will have seen. And perhaps our most important contribution to society is our decades-old mission to minimise the various negative impacts on society and the environment associated with the construction and maintenance of bridges and other structures, by maximising the functionality and durability of our products – always with a strong focus on sustainability. But here, in supplying the structural bearings upon which the new stage of the Sydney Opera House’s concert hall is constructed, we are proud to be now supporting the arts – in a very literal sense!

Designer: ARUP
Contractor: Icon Metal, Taylor Construction.
Client: Sydney Opera House Trust

The Sydney Opera House, one of the world’s truly iconic buildings, is currently undergoing a major renovation – almost 50 years after it was opened in 1971

Cross section drawing showing the design of the new stage of the Opera House’s main concert hall, constructed on steel portal frames


Detail of cross section drawing (the end of one steel portal frame), showing the bearing (highlighted) that supports it while accommodating movements and rotations as required


Testing of a spherical bearing at mageba’s NATA-certified (ILAC MRA) laboratory in Sydney, before installation to support the stage structure

Despite their small size, the spherical bearings fulfil a critical function in supporting the long-term structural performance of the new stage structure

The installation of the bearings was supervised by mageba representatives, ensuring high quality and avoiding any delays that might otherwise arise due to installation errors or while uncertainties are clarified

Testing of a spherical bearing at mageba’s NATA-certified (ILAC MRA) laboratory in Sydney, before installation to support the stage structure