2018 is an Utzon100 year full of experiences on the waterfront in the Danish town of Aalborg. Three exhibitions, of which one is being shown in both Aalborg and Copenhagen, Sydney and Brussels, a film, conferences, lectures, events and educational activities for children both at and outside of school. This is just a part of the programme which HRH Crown Prince Frederik opened on 9 April, and which has since marked the fact that 2018 is the centenary of the birth of Jørn Utzon.
“There has been an overwhelming level of interest, locally, nationally and internationally. Foreign TV stations and international magazines such as Wallpaper Magazine and Monocle have found their way to Aalborg, resulting in a two-fold increase in the number of foreign visitors in 2018. At the same time, many more children than normal have visited the centre,” says Lasse Andersson, creative director at the Utzon Center, adding:
“Architecture exhibitions are often quite nerdy, but you don’t have to be an architect or to have trained within the building industry to enjoy the experiences that we have to offer here. This is something we hit spot on in the anniversary exhibition. Everyone knows the story of the architect who designed the 20th century’s most iconic building, and so the exhibition is built around this fantastic story and some fantastic works in general.”
The last great masterpiece
The famous architect died on 29 November 2008, aged 90. Jørn Utzon’s last major architectural work was the Utzon Center in Aalborg, which was created in collaboration with his son, the architect Kim Utzon. The centre’s shiny roofs and distinctive geometry make the building a clear landmark, not least when viewed from the waters of Limfjorden, which are right on its doorstep. Troldtekt acoustic panels have been used in a large part of the centre’s 2,800 square metres. It is Troldtekt in natural wood – specially cut to a width of only 40 cm.
The Utzon Center was designed as a backdrop to experiences within architecture and design, and this ambition has not disappointed.
“It’s a building with a prominent location – it stands like a diamond on the waterfront. But it’s also a balanced and all-embracing building. It’s often used for conferences and events, including weddings, christenings and confirmation parties. Jørn Utzon took an open and experimental approach to the world, and we’re trying to emulate this by inviting everyone inside,” says Lasse Andersson.
Read more about the architecture of the Utzon Center
Get more Utzon inspiration
Explore buildings designed by Kim Utzon Architects in the gallery below.