Jørn Utzon

Jørn Utzon

Sydney Opera House fame architect Jørn Utzon was born on April 9, 1918 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Utzon was the son of a naval architect due to which he grew up in Aalborg, Denmark and developed interest in ships and thought about adopting a naval career. Growing up in a family deeply interested in art, Utzon ended up at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1937.

From 1937 to 1942 Utzon attended the Copenhagen School of Architecture and then went to Stockholm and stayed there for three years working under the influence of the Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund. In 1946 he went to United States and studied there for six months followed by his apprenticeship at the office of the Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto in Finland.

Utzon spent the next decade in travelling extensively worldwide including destinations like Morocco, Mexico, United States, China, Japan, India, and Australia. This phase of his life left solid marks on his career, bringing him all the goodness of destiny. Though most of his projects were Denmark based but it was the Sydney Opera House that gave him unbeatable recognition around the globe.

Jørn Utzon’s notable projects include:

  • Water tower in Svaneke, Bornholm, Denmark, 1949–51
  • Architect’s own house, Hellebæk, Denmark, 1950–52
  • Middelboe house, Holte, Denmark, 1953–55
  • Kingo Houses, Helsingør, Denmark 1956–60
  • Elineberg Housing, Helsingborg, Sweden, 1954–66 (Built by Swedish partners Erik and Henry Andersson)
  • Planetstaden housing project in Lund, Sweden, 1956–58 (Built by Swedish partners Erik and Henry Andersson)
  • Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia, 1956–73
  • Fredensborg Houses, courtyard housing in Fredensborg, Denmark, 1959–63 (Built by Dansk Samvirke)
  • Melli Bank, University of TehranBranch, Tehran, Iran, 1959–60 (with Hans Munk Hansen)
  • Hammershøj Care Centre, Helsingør, Denmark, 1962–66 (Built by Birger Schmidt)
  • Bagsværd Church, Bagsværd, Denmark, 1968–76
  • Espansiva building system, pre-fabricated single-family houses, Denmark, 1969
  • Can Lis, Architect’s own house, Majorca, Spain, 1971–73
  • National Assembly of Kuwait, Kuwait City, Kuwait, 1972–84 (with Jan Utzon)
  • Paustian Furniture Store, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1985–87
  • Can Feliz, Majorca, Spain, 1991–94
  • Skagen Odde Nature Centre, Skagen, Denmark, 1989 (completed by his son Jan Utzon in 1999-2000)
  • Utzon Center, Aalborg, 2008 (with Kim Utzon)

In the early 1970s Utzon shifted with his family to the Spanish island of Majorca but then decided to move to a more remote area in mountains and ended up at his house Can Feliz located on the Spanish island of Mallorca, designed by himself. Jørn Utzon lived there until his death in 2008

Jørn Utzon Buildings