Utzon, Jørn Oberg
Utzon's most influential designs were for courtyard-houses, a theme he first explored in the unbuilt competition-winning proposals for Skåna in Sweden (1954) and subsequently realized in the Kingo Houses at Helsingør (1956–60) and in a widely-acclaimed development at Fredensborg (1962–3), both in Denmark. The freely arranged site-plans of these schemes used the additive principle of composition that was also to become the basis of his ideas for more flexible approaches to industrialized building. These designs included the ‘Espansiva’ housing system (1969), developed for the Danish timber-building industry and modelled on traditional Japanese houses; a prototype building for a new college in Herning (1967); the impressive unrealized proposal (using precast concrete components) for a sports complex in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (1968); and the National Assembly Building, Kuwait (1972–85-restored following severe damage in the 1990 Gulf War), built using large-scale components cast on site. Utzon's contract did not however include the interiors, and the only public building realized wholly in accordance with his designs was the Bagsvaerd Church, near Copenhagen (1967–77), where the billowy ‘cloud-vaults’ form a striking contrast to the modest, system-built exterior. In partnership with his two architect-sons, Jan (1944– ) and Kim (1957– ), Utzon realized the Paustian Furniture Store, Nordhavn, Copenhagen (1987), by when he was spending much of his time at ‘Can Lis’, his house on a cliff-top near Porto Petro, Mallorca, Spain (1971–3). More recently another generation of Utzons (Jan's son and daughter) have become active in the firm: they are Jeppe (1970– ) and Kickan (1971– ).
Architects' Year Book, vi (1955), 173-81;
Anno Domini, xxx/9 (30 September 1960), 347-8;
Are, cxli/5 (1967), 189-92;
Architectural Review, clxv/985 (Mar. 1979), 146-9;
Arkitektur, xiv (1970), 1-48;
B + W, xx (Sept. 1966), 10-14;
Wi. Curtis (1996);
Drew (1972, 1995, 2000, 2001);
T. Faber (1991);
C. Floyd & and Collingwood (2000);
Lasdun (ed.) (1984);
Richard Weston ;
Zodiac v (1959), 70-105, x (1962), 112-80, xiv (1965), 36-93
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