From growing up as the son of a naval engineer, to training in architecture and traveling the world, the dimensions of Utzon’s work are beyond scale, reflected simply and universally through his buildings and objects.
One of the greatest architects of the 20th century, Jørn Utzon is an architect of modern icons. From large scale works like the Sydney Opera House, the Kuwait National Assembly, the Kingo Housing Project, alongside the Spring glassware set and a very few other smaller objects, Utzon’s work begins as poetry, seeing architecture and objects as art that includes thoughtful functionality, structural integrity and sculptural harmony. This marriage of beauty and function earned him the prestigious Pritzker Prize in 2003 for the Sydney Opera House, an honor bestowed only on architects of significant achievements. As a fellow Pritzker Laureate, Frank Gehry, commented, “Utzon made a building well ahead of its time, far ahead of available technology, and he persevered through extraordinary malicious publicity and negative criticism to build a building that changed the image of an entire country. It is the first time in our lifetime that an epic piece of architecture has gained such universal presence”. Even the late, great Louis Kahn expressed his feelings for Utzon’s work on the Sydney Opera House, stating that “The sun did not know how beautiful its light was, until it was reflected off this building”.