It is rare for a modern architect to define in significant terms the fate of an entire city… the way, indeed, Jorn Utzon succeeded in Sydney.
It is easier for New York City to be without the Twin Towers, than it would be for Sydney without the Opera. This building is as emblematic for the important Australian city as Tour Eiffel is for Paris.
Yet, this building was built during a complex saga, in which the great Danish architect had to endure opposition, even humiliation.
But we feel that this year, when there are 100 years since his birth, somehow we must attempt to pay our homage to this unique architect, who represented and continues to represent a bright human presence in the field of culture in general and architecture in particular.
This great Dane was deeply moved by the rising steps of the Mayan pyramids towards God… how many modern architects would have or would have had such an emotion ? And indeed, isn’t the Opera in Sydney cathedral-like ? It is a ship-like building, a metaphor for life itself, sailing towards the Infinite, the very Infinite we so very often neglect now.
And when we read that for Utzon, who traveled extensively, architectonic accomplishments from Japan, India, China, South America and so on meant a lot, we can only say: this was and is an architect who understood and felt the unity of human kind, beyond the many divisions that tragically, often, separate us. In the same way the curved surfaces of the Opera in Sydney, if brought together, create a sphere (as we read), so do the many individual accomplishments of various countries, cultures and times do, they create, TOGETHER, the “sphere” of human life, on this earth…
We invite you to imagine a memorial for this great architect, to be built in front of The Opera in Sydney, on the occasion of the Utzon Centennial, this year. We suggested in the site plan above, in red, a possible location, but we do not want to limit the scope of your vision, so any other kind of proposals are not only accepted, but also encouraged.
We have only one request: that you try to express, metaphorically, through architectural means, the symbolic significance of this architect, to create a memorial that will pay homage to him and that will create, together with the Opera, an architectonic ensemble that thus will unite creation and creator, Building and Builder.
Without Utzon, Sydney would not be the same. This is what a true architect can do for a city. In this sense, Utzon was and is an example, a silent mentor on the spiral of time.
Please send us your work digitally to: [email protected] by July 1st, 2018th. Please register before the deadline in order to receive a registration number with which to anonymously identify your work. The format of your work should be A0, oriented vertically. We will exhibit all the works received on our website and we will also organize an exhibition with them at Erasmus Haus in Vienna, this summer.
If you have any questions, please be kind and let us know.