December 8, 2008
by Canadian Architect
Jørn Utzon passed away in Copenhagen on December 2, 2008 at the age of 90. His name is associated with one of the most emblematic buildings of the 20th century, the Sydney Opera House in Australia.
In 1957, this little-known architect won the UNESCO-UIA international competition for the design of the Opera House. Differences with the authorities of New South Wales over delays and expenses pushed him to abandon the construction site and leave Australia in
1966. The building continued under the supervision of Peter Hall, David Littlemore and Lionel Todd, and the opera was inaugurated in 1973.
Utzon settled and continued working in Denmark. He realized the housing complex at Fredensborg between 1959 and 1962 and the one in Kingo from 1956 to 1958, the Bagsvaerd church from 1973 to 1976, the Skagen Nature Centre in 2001. In 1982 he completed the Kuwait Parliament. Beginning in 1985 his sons Jan and Kim continued the activities of his firm and participated in the restoration of the Sydney Opera House.
In 2003, Utzon was awarded the Pritzker Prize for Architecture and in 2007, the Opera House was inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.