Vale Joern Utzon: The architect of the Sydney Opera House

by Anna Blanch on November 30, 2008


The Danish architect of one of the most iconic buildings in the world died today. Joern Utzon created the first designs for Sydney’s Opera House in 1957 and though he has never returned to Australia since 1966 his son and grandson have recently been involved in helping to redesign some of the internal acoustics so they more closely match his father’s original design (though this is not also without its own controversy).

The Sydney Morning Herald report noted:

Utzon received the prestigious Pritzker prize for architecture in 2003 with the jury singling out the Opera House as one of the most iconic buildings of the 20th century, arguing it “proves that the marvellous and seemingly impossible in architecture can be achieved”.

Regardless of the controversy that has always surrounded the Opera House, it is a beautiful way to set off one of the most beautiful harbours in the world and without the Dane, Utzon, Sydney’s Harbour would be much less identifiable.

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