Utzon 100: Next Generation

SOH Jorn Utzon Next GenerationThe Sydney Opera House has announced that four of Denmark’s most renowned and innovative architects will come together in October to discuss Jørn Utzon’s global legacy as part of the 100th anniversary of Utzon’s birth.

Developed in collaboration with the Utzon Center Denmark, this anniversary event is part of the Sydney Opera House’s 45-year celebrations, which also include a special film screening of Jørn Utzon: The Man & the Architect and a private viewing of HORISONT – an exhibition celebrating Jørn Utzon’s work and his inspiration from his global travels.

In addition to designing one of the world’s most recognisable buildings, Utzon’s approach to engineering and architectural practice has influenced countless designers around the world. Utzon 100: Next Generation will examine Utzon’s reputation in his home country of Denmark, the prevalence of a discernible ‘Utzon style’, and how his legacy will be preserved in the future.

“As Sydneysiders we are all very familiar with the Opera House, but how well do we really understand the design principles that produced it, and how much do we know about Utzon’s architectural practices?” says Dr Edwina Throsby, Sydney Opera House Head of Talks & Ideas. “This event is a rare opportunity to delve into the craft behind the icon, and to learn from practicing Danish architects what they most value in Utzon’s work and legacy.”

Speakers at Utzon 100: Next Generation include:

• Mette Tony and Mads Bjørn Hansen of Praksis Architects – an award-winning Danish firm currently exhibiting at Venice Biennale of Architecture. Praksis have received numerous accolades, including the Nykredit Architecture Award, Scandinavia’s most prestigious architectural award.

• Søren Johansen and Sebastian Skovsted of Johansen Skovsted Arkitekter – specialists in heritage architecture and protected natural environments. Johansen Skovsted is a recent recipient of the Danish Crown Prince Couple Stardust Prize for emerging, innovative cultural producers.

• Moderator Professor Gerard Reinmuth is an academic, architect, designer and director of TERROIR – an Australian architectural practice with offices in Sydney, Hobart and Copenhagen.

Directed by documentary filmmakers Lene Borch Hansen and Anna von Lowzow, Jørn Utzon: The Man & the Architect tells the story of Utzon’s unique architectural talent, realised with the eternal support of the love of his life, Lis.

The people who were closest to him tell his story: his children, close colleagues and friends, all of whom share their open, honest anecdotes and experiences of him as an architect and a man. The film, by Nordisk Film Production, is a portrait of a devoted humanitarian and a sensitive soul.

The screening will be preceded by a Q&A session with the film’s Director Lene Borch Hansen, Utzon’s daughter, artist Lin Utzon and Director of the Utzon Center Denmark, Lasse Andersson.

The film screening also includes a champagne preview of HORISONT – a unique exhibition celebrating design inspiration from Utzon’s global travels across China, Hawaii, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Morocco, Mexico and the USA. The exhibition is curated by Line Nørskov Eriksen from the Utzon Center, Denmark.

Presented as part of the Opera House’s 45 years program, Utzon 100: Next Generation takes place on Sunday 14 October in the Playhouse. A must-see for all architecture and design enthusiasts, the event is enabled through the generous support of Michael and Manuela Darling. For more information, visit: www.sydneyoperahouse.com for details.

Image: Jørn Utzon (supplied)