About Jørn Utzon

I was the second dumbest kid in my class home in Aalborg – only outscored by pure madness”. These were the words of a man who years later, in 2003, received The Pritzker Architecture Prize, the highest honour an architect can achieve.

Pritzker Prize jury chairman, Lord Rothschild, commented, "Jørn Utzon created one of the great iconic buildings of the twentieth century, an image of great beauty known throughout the world [the Sydney Opera House]. In addition to this masterpiece, he has worked throughout his life fastidiously, brilliantly, quietly and with never a false or jarring note. He is therefore a most distinguished recipient of the Pritzker Prize."

Thomas J. Pritzker, president of The Hyatt Foundation, said "Jørn Utzon has designed a remarkably beautiful building in Australia that has become a national symbol to the rest of the world. In addition, in a most distinguished career, he has designed several other significant works, including housing complexes, a church, residences, and other commercial buildings. We are delighted that the jury has seen fit to recognize this great talent as we celebrate our first quarter of a century."

You can find a complete list of the Curriculum Vitae of Jørn Utzon here.

Jørn Utzon was born in Copenhagen, the son of a naval engineer, and grew up in Aalborg, Denmark, where he became interested in ships and a possible naval career. The ideas and inspirations that formed the architect Utzon began in Aalborg at the shipyard where his father worked. "Home at the shipyard in Aalborg and later on in Elsinore I often stood at the dock and observed how people and tools with such ease bended even the most powerful steel and iron. As an architect these memories have always reminded me of that nothing is impossible."

The ideas of Utzon were formed and developed by studies, several trips around the world, meetings with great architects, artists and painters, curiosity, a large sense of compassion and above all: an open mind. These impressions and characteristics were absorbed by Utzon in such way that they created a metamorphosis and were embodied in a distinctive linguistic. Utzon is therefore quoted extensively since the impression is that he often gives remarks that are quite unique. This is also why the quotes by Utzon play such a central role in this app.

You can find some of Utzon's unique expressions and remarks here.

The architectural principles in Utzons works are: the nature as the main source of inspiration, the platform, the additive principle, and the poetry or tradition of the location.

The main architectural philosophies that formed the works of Utzon can be explored here.