Joern Utzon
Australia Crest

Joern Utzon was born on April 9th, 1918.
Joern Utzon
Joern Utzon

He is a Danish architect who designed the Sydney Opera House after winning a world-wide competition.

Following a dispute with the NSW Government he returned to his homeland in the mid 60s before the building of his great dream was completed. He resigned on February 28th, 1966 over a bill for $102,000 disputed by the Askin Liberal Government Public Works Minister, David Hughes.

There were, however, other frictions over the design of the interior of the building and the number of seats under the main shell.

The Sydney Opera House, where building commenced in 1959, was officially opened by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth 11 in 1973.

In April, 1998, Utzon, who now lives in a self-designed home in the mountains of Denmark, was awarded the keys to the city of Sydney by Lord Mayor Frank Sartor. Utzon intimated he was happy to have been honoured with the award.

Also in 1998, Premier Bob Carr suggested that Utzon should re-design the interior of the Opera House. This notion was laughed at by now Sir David Hughes, aged 87, and living in a Central Coast retirement unit.

There is no doubt that Joern Utzon did capture the imagination of the world with his majestic billowing sail design and use of sparkling materials to create a line and shape with architectural integrity.

As Harry Seidler said "....It has become the Icon of our country".

Joern Utzon

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