Jørn Oberg Utzon – Danish Architecture

Jørn Oberg Utzon, born in 1918 and dead in 2008, had the opportunity to live in first person the developments occurred in the XXth century. His education was held among Denmark, Sweden and Finland, where he had the opportunity to work beside Alvar Aalto, eminent architect and his acknowledged master. Therefore, to the Scandinavian influence has to be summed up the ascendancy of one of the most important architects of the second half of the XXth century.

Afterwards, he settled in Copenhagen where he found his own professional studio. He remained there till the end of his life and in 2003 he got the Pritzker Prize at the end of his career for his more important project: the Sidney Opera House.

Jørn Oberg Utzon
Bagsværd Church, Denmark

An architect to take as an example, he cared about the human aspects of architecture being distant from an impersonal and functionalistic view of construction. According to his view, buildings should always take care of human well-being, intended in a physical and moral sense.

“To work starting from our hands, from our eyes, feet, stomach, starting from our way to move around, instead of rely only on static norms and rules accepted only because common, this is the path towards an architecture that is as much various as human” (“Idee di architettura, scritti e conversazioni” – Jørn Oberg Utzon 2010).

He transmits with these words the spirit of his job, strictly linked with the materials that make his buildings. He is not the modern architect that works only with the computer, on the contrary, he underlines the importance of getting in contact with the real materials, in order to catch their essence.

According to Jørn Oberg Utzon’s view, architects and materials need to be one thing together, architects need to be able to use materials to create and use each of them following (materials’) rules. An architect needs to understand materials, only this way he will be able to project at his best.

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