Kim Utzon started his small architectural practice, Kim Utzon Arkitekter, in Copenhagen in 1987, choosing to work primarily in Denmark and neighboring Sweden, to keep close ties with family and be able to reflect effectively on regional building traditions. Kim is the youngest son of Jørn Utzon (1918-2008), the Pritzker Prize-winning architect whose most celebrated buildings include the Sydney Opera House (1973), Bagsværd Church near Copenhagen (1976), and the Kuwait National Assembly Building (1982). Kim’s brother Jan Utzon is a practicing architect and his sister Lin Utzon is a ceramic artist.
Jorn Utzon: The Latest Architecture and News
“I Want to Get Down to the Roots of Things”: Interview with Kim Utzon
Sydney Opera House Reopens the Newly Renovated Concert Hall
The Sydney Opera House has reopened its largest performance space, the Concert Hall. Since the venue closed for renovations in February 2020, the space has undergone extensive renovations to improve the acoustic performance, enhance access for people with mobility needs, and upgrade the staging systems. The renovation process respects the original interiors, while better equipping the hall to present a wide range of performances. This is the largest and final project in the Opera House’s Decade of Renewal, a 10-year program of renovation works totaling almost $300 million to upgrade the World Heritage-listed monument ahead of its 50th anniversary in 2023.
Who Has Won the Pritzker Prize?
The Pritzker Prize is the most important award in the field of architecture, awarded to a living architect whose built work "has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity through the art of architecture." The Prize rewards individuals, not entire offices, as took place in 2000 (when the jury selected Rem Koolhaas instead of his firm OMA) or in 2016 (with Alejandro Aravena selected instead of Elemental); however, the prize can also be awarded to multiple individuals working together, as took place in 2001 (Herzog & de Meuron), 2010 (Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA), and 2017 (Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem, and Ramon Vilalta of RCR Arquitectes).
Re-evaluating Critical Regionalism: An Architecture of the Place
In his 1983 now-classic essay Towards a Critical Regionalism, Six Points of an Architecture of Resistance, Kenneth Frampton discussed an alternative approach to architecture, one defined by climate, topography and tectonics, as a form of resistance to the placeness of Modern Architecture and the gratuitous ornamentation of Postmodernism. An architectural attitude, Critical Regionalism proposed an architecture that would embrace global influences while firmly rooted in its context. The following explores the value and contribution of Frampton’s ideas for contemporary architecture.
Materialising a Vision: Structural Engineering and Architecture
Recent years have seen an increased acknowledgement of the collective endeavour that is architecture and a better valuing of the different professions that participate in the design process. Within every extraordinary building, structural engineering plays an essential role in delivering the architectural vision. The article highlights the past and present contributions of engineering to the built environment, personalities that have stood in the shadow of architects delivering their design intent, and the collaboration between engineers and architects today.
Studying the "Manual of Section": Architecture's Most Intriguing Drawing
For Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki and David J. Lewis, the section “is often understood as a reductive drawing type, produced at the end of the design process to depict structural and material conditions in service of the construction contract.” A definition that will be familiar to most of those who have studied or worked in architecture at some point. We often think primarily of the plan, for it allows us to embrace the programmatic expectations of a project and provide a summary of the various functions required. In the modern age, digital modelling software programs offer ever more possibilities when it comes to creating complex three dimensional objects, making the section even more of an afterthought.
With their Manual of Section (2016), the three founding partners of LTL architects engage with section as an essential tool of architectural design, and let’s admit it, this reading might change your mind on the topic. For the co-authors, “thinking and designing through section requires the building of a discourse about section, recognizing it as a site of intervention.” Perhaps, indeed, we need to understand the capabilities of section drawings both to use them more efficiently and to enjoy doing so.
Spotlight: Jørn Utzon
Pritzker Prize winning architect Jørn Utzon (9 April 1918 – 29 November 2008) was the relatively unknown Dane who, on the 29th January 1957, was announced as the winner of the "International competition for a national opera house at Bennelong Point, Sydney’." When speaking about this iconic building, Louis Kahn stated that "The sun did not know how beautiful its light was, until it was reflected off this building." Unfortunately, Utzon never saw the Sydney Opera House, his most popular work, completed.
7 Rejected Proposals for Sydney Opera House
An iconic piece of architecture recognized around the world, the Sydney Opera House was designed by Jørn Utzon, following a 1956 competition that attracted 222 competition entries. Since its opening in 1973, the building has redefined the ambitions of Australia and only last September celebrated its latest milestone: turning completely carbon neutral.
The history behind the Opera House and its creation is as rich as the architecture itself. In 1956 the New South Wales Government called an open competition for the design of two performance halls, for opera and for symphony concerts, hoping to establish Sydney as a major city. Danish architect Jørn Utzon won the competition with an entry that consisted of a few simple sketches that intrigued the jury.
Utzon UNBUILT Competition to Shed New Light on the Danish Master's Works - and Invites the Public to Take Part
Jorn Utzon’s name is, for most people, tied inextricably to his most famous work: the Sydney Opera House. Completed in 1973, the project was named a World Heritage Site in 2007, making Utzon only the second architect (after Oscar Niemeyer) to receive such an honor in his lifetime. The project is arguably the most recognizable and significant works of architecture of the 20th century and remains a work ahead of its time. But the uncompromising detail and futuristic design of Utzon’s work left many of his projects unrealized or unknown by the time of his death in 2008.
Call for Entries: Utzon UNBUILT
Re-imagining Utzon’s unbuilt gems
Sydney Opera House Becomes Carbon Neutral
The Sydney Opera House is celebrating a significant environmental milestone, having become carbon neutral five years ahead of schedule. For reducing its carbon dioxide emissions through efficiencies in waste and energy management, the Opera House was awarded certification from the Australian Government’s National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS).
The sails of the Sydney Opera House were illuminated green on the night of Monday 24th September to celebrate the carbon neutral certification.
On Jørn Utzon's 100th Birthday, 11 Prominent Architects Pay Tribute to the Great Architect
Today marks what would have been the 100th birthday of the leading Danish architect, Jørn Utzon. Notably responsible for what could be argued to be the most prominent building in the world, the Sydney Opera House, Utzon accomplished what many architects can only dream of: a global icon. To celebrate this special occasion, Louisiana Channel has collaborated with the Utzon Center in Aalborg, Denmark to put together a video series to hear prominent architects and designers talk, including Bjarke Ingels and Renzo Piano, about their experiences with Utzon and his work—from his unrivalled visual awareness of the world, to his uncompromising attitude that led him to create such strong architectural statements.
Unlike many architects around at the time of Jørn Utzon, who as modernists rejected tradition in favour of new technologies and orthogonal plans, Utzon combined these usually contradictory qualities in an exceptional manner. As the architects recount, he was a globalist with a Nordic base, that has inspired the next generation to travel the world and challenge their concepts. Many of them compare his work to Alvar Aalto’s, as both shared an organic approach to architecture, looking at growth patterns in nature for inspiration. Utzon even coined this approach "Additive Architecture," whereby both natural and cultural forms are united to form buildings that are designed more freely.
"Don't Blame Me!": 6 Projects That Were Disowned by High-Profile Architects
Construction is an exercise in frugality and compromise. To see their work realized, architects have to juggle the demands of developers, contractors, clients, engineers—sometimes even governments. The resulting concessions often leave designers with a bruised ego and a dissatisfying architectural result. While these architects always do their best to rectify any problems, some disputes get so heated that the architect feels they have no choice but to walk away from their own work. Here are 6 of the most notable examples:
How to Pronounce the Names of 22 Notable Architects
There’s no doubt that one of the best things about architecture is its universality. Wherever you come from, whatever you do, however you speak, architecture has somehow touched your life. However, when one unexpectedly has to pronounce a foreign architect’s name... things can get a little tricky. This is especially the case when mispronunciation could end up making you look less knowledgeable than you really are. (If you're really unlucky, it could end up making you look stupid in front of your children and the whole world.)
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of 22 architects with names that are a little difficult to pronounce, and paired them with a recording in which their names are said impeccably. Listen and repeat as many times as it takes to get it right, and you’ll be prepared for any intellectual architectural conversation that comes your way.
TRIAS Proposes Museum to House Jørn Utzon Archive in Sydney
TRIAS has created a speculative museum proposal for the MA | UA (Museum of Architecture | Utzon Archive), a permanent exhibition space for Danish architect Jørn Utzon’s archive in Sydney, Australia.
Jørn Utzon’s archive is buried in boxes and basements across Sydney. This rich body of knowledge—of original drawings, prototypes, photographs and models—is a valuable public resource, alive with thoughts and experiments. Yet, it remains inaccessible and intangible to most.
Sydney Opera House to Undergo $202 Million Renovation
The Sydney Opera House has revealed designs for a $202 million renovation project, the largest upgrade program to the Jørn Utzon-designed building since it opened in 1973. Announced by New South Wales Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts, Troy Grant, the project’s main goal is to “improve access and ensure it meets the needs and expectations of audiences, artists and the 8.2 million people who visit each year.”
Fatamorgana: Utzon meets Jorn
Utzon Center, Aalborg, recently opened their newest exhibition - FATAMORGANA - about Jørn Utzon’s mythical unbuilt project for Silkeborg Museum intended to house the art and private collection of the Danish expressionist painter; Asger Jorn. The exhibition unfolds the museum, which never was realised. A museum where art meets architecture and Utzon and Jorn worked on the edge of the possible!
Upcoming Feature Film to Chronicle the Trials and Tribulations of Jørn Utzon and the Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House is one of the most iconic buildings in the world. A momentous achievement in design and engineering, the building quickly cemented itself as a defining feature of the Australian cultural landscape. But the realization of the building was not a straightforward one, and almost immediately after the project was awarded it became fraught with controversy and uncertainty. At the center of this controversy was the architect, Jørn Utzon, who eventually resigned after mounting conflict with the state government. Now, this period of Utzon's life will be chronicled in a new feature length film, Utzon, The Man Behind the Opera House, reports The Guardian.