Skip to content

Jørn Utzon

Denmark (1918-2008)

Danish archi­tect Jørn Utzon was born in 1918. He grad­u­ated from the Academy of Fine Arts in 1942, he, like many archi­tects affected by World War II, fled to neutral Sweden where he was employed in the Stock­holm office of Hakon Ahlberg for the dura­tion of the war. He then went to Finland to work with Alvar Aalto. 

Most of Utzon’s projects have been completed in his native Denmark, but he is best known for the Sydney Opera House, an iconic build­ing of curving roof forms. Construc­tion began in 1959 and was not complete until 1973

Utzon’s next major design, after return­ing to Denmark from Sydney, was the Bagsvaerd Church in Copen­hagen. Utzon planned the inte­rior vaults after being inspired by banks of clouds.

Jørn Utzon’s fasci­na­tion with archi­tec­tural legends from the Mayan, Moroc­can and Asian cultures led to what he termed Addi­tive Architecture”.

The Utzon lamp JU1 was designed over a decade before Utzon worked on the Opera House and was inspired by his father’s naval engi­neer­ing draw­ings of ships.

Designs by Jørn Utzon (1)