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Jørn Utzon: The Man and the Architecture

  • Film, Documentary
Jørn Utzon, architect of the Sydney Opera House, in front of it being constructed
Photograph: SuppliedJørn Utzon, architect of the Sydney Opera House

Time Out says

Celebrate the genius of the Opera House's creator with this fascinating documentary

It’s almost impossible, now, to imagine the harbour unpunctuated by the graceful sails of the Sydney Opera House. The glimmering tiled edifice truly earns the title ‘iconic’, and it’s the go-to image when any moviemaker wants to signal Australia.

It's an architectural marvel, and the countless dramas that have unfolded on its stages are unmatched by the one that played out between its visionary architect and the NSW government. While it worked out all right in the end and we all got given a marvel of the modern world, late, great Danish architect Jørn Utzon was frustrated by political gnashing and wailing over the cost of the project.

When the powers that be cut off payments, ultimately he walked off the job, and for many years Utzon remained estranged from the pinnacle of his talented life’s work. Thankfully all parties kissed and made up in the end. Five years before his death in 2008, he was awarded the prestigious Pritzker Prize for Architecture just as his beautiful creation was celebrating its 30th birthday. He also lived to see the Opera House included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

It’s one hell of a story, and now you can relish in the remarkable detail just a few short weeks before it reopens to the public, thanks to documentary Jørn Utzon: The Man and the Architecture. Screening for free as part of the From Our House to Yours digital platform, it features his children, close colleagues and friends generously sharing their insights into the great man’s incredible creative process. You’ll be able to stream it here from Friday, October 9 at 8pm. As Utzon himself said, “To me it is a great joy to know how much the building is loved,” and goodness knows it is.

The Opera House is reopening in November. Find out more here.  

Stephen A Russell
Written by
Stephen A Russell


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