22 Jun

Jørn Utzon the Danish Architect designed and built the Sydney opera house. Design started in 1957 and building started in 1959 and for Utzon it finished in 1966 with a falling out with the newly elected Liberal government.Davis Hughes the minister for works had little time for the creative arts. He questioned the building, the cost and  withheld payments for work leading to Jørn Utzon’s resignation the project and departure from Australia.

No one had seen a building like this before it pushed the boundaries of design and peoples understanding of modern architecture. It finally opened in 1973.

It was in 1961 that Utzon overcame a design problem while peeling an orange and had his eureka moment. The 14 shells of the opera house would come formed from a perfect sphere, just like a peeled orange.  Jørn changed his design many times before settling on the 14 shells to become the iconic piece of Architecture that was granted UNESCO Heritage status in 2007.


Jørn Utzon’s name was never mentioned at the opening ceremony in 1973 .It was 1999 before Sydney Opera house and Jørn collaborated once again.Utzon never visited in person the finished Opera house.He died in 2008 at the age of 90. His incredible design is a lasting mirror of his creative vision

You might not think the work you are doing today  will resonate with the rest of the world as Sydney Opera house has, but I  imagine neither did Jørn Utzon. Don’t underestimate the impact of your work on others even if you never get to see the results of what you have created.And for those moments of creative stagnation remember that “Oranges are not the only fruit”.

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