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Jorn Utzon's summer house

Jorn Utzon's summer house

The retirement home of the Sydney Opera House architect Jorn Utzon has been restored and is available for those interested in studying his work.

Utzon is best known for having conceived the dramatic curves and inspired the technical brilliance of the Sydney Opera House. Frank Gehry, one of the judges who awarded Utzon the Pritzker prize, stated that ‘Utzon made a building well ahead of its time, far ahead of available technology, and persevered…to build a building that changed the image of an entire country’.

After his involvement in the Sydney Opera House had finished, and having fallen in love with the island of Majorca over successive visits, it is said that Utzon asked a local farmer if he had any land for sale. He was offered three sites and chose a long, thin site just outside Puerto Petro with a vertical cliff to the sea at the back. The house is named Can Lis, after Utzon’s beloved wife and incorporates five staggered blocks along the cliff edge with each block individually adjusted to the contours of the land and the existing trees.

Following his death, the family passed the house to the Utzon Foundation, which has recently restored it impeccably. The house is now available for architects, artists and other researchers to apply for up to three months of residency.

Please click the link below to read the full article as published in Context (The official magazine of The Institute of Historic Building Conservation).

Jorn Utzon's summer house, Tim Morris – Context 128: March 2013