01 December 2008

Sydney Opera House designer Jorn Utzon dies, aged 90

Posted Sun Nov 30, 2008 6:19am AEDT
Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:16am AEDT

John Utzon died aged 90-Photo: AFP/GETTY

The Danish architect who designed the Sydney Opera House, Joern Utzon, has died in Copenhagen.The 90-year-old died of a heart attack in his sleep.

Mr Utzon started to study architecture in his late teens and graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1942. Later in World War II he fled Denmark to neutral Sweden before continuing his work in Finland.

In 1957, Mr Utzon entered a competition to design Sydney's new Opera House, winning over judges with his radical shell-like proposal.

His design came to fruition in 1973, seven years after he left the project over a dispute with the New South Wales Government.


Mr Utzon also went on to design several prominent buildings in his native Denmark but he will be best remembered for his world heritage-listed masterpiece in Sydney.

Mr Utzon never returned to Australia, but he was represented by his son at a ceremony to open a new colonnade at the Opera House in 2006.

Mr Utzon's designs for the interior of the Opera House were never realised, but in an interview in 2002 he showed no bitterness.

"It has become such a marvellous thing, or building, or whatever you call it for Australia and for the time, so I'm not to criticise," he said.

"I'm so happy about that. Sometimes in architecture it happens that a daring step into the unknown gives us great gifts for the future."

New South Wales patched up its differences with Mr Utzon in the late 1990s and his son is now working on restoring the Opera House's interior to its original design. Danish Minister of Culture Carina Christensen has paid tribute Mr Utzon.

Source: ABC news

Related Link :

1. Jorn Utzon dies, aged 90 - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news

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