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Sydney Opera House
Jørn Utzon Biography
Jørn Utzon Biography

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It stands by itself as one of the indisputable masterpieces of human creativity, not only in the 20th century but in the history of humankind.  Expert evaluation report to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, 2007

Jørn Utzon was born on April 9, 1918 in Copenhagen. He received his Diploma in Architecture from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen in 1942 and established his own architectural office there in 1946.

In 1956 the New South Wales Premier, Joe Cahill, announced an international competition for the design of an opera house for Sydney which attracted more than 200 entries from around the world.

The story goes that during the judging of the competition one of the judges, renowned American architect, Eero Saarinen, arrived in Sydney after the other three judges had started assessing the entries. He looked through their rejected entries and stopped at the Utzon design declaring it to be outstanding.

Over several years Utzon gradually made changes from his original concept designs in order to develop a way to construct the large shells that cover the two halls. After extensive testing, Utzon developed a design based on the complex sections of a sphere.

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