Superstar architects might be a dime a dozen, but superstar buildings are yet another matter altogether. Even celebrated structures by lionized architects hardly ever remain in our collective consciousness for lengthy, never mind long adequate to evolve into transcendent cultural symbols.
The Sydney Opera Property is a rarity on a lot of levels: a design masterwork a revolutionary engineering feat symbol of all that can go wrong when politics trumps art eventual Globe Heritage Internet site and, ultimately, emblem of a continent.
Australia’s most popular building is the function of a excellent Dane—Jørn Utzon—whose winning 1957 design was declared ‘genius’ by fellow architects, but shamefully marginalized in the course of the building phase. When Utzon lastly washed his hands off the project—and Australia—he never ever set foot on the continent again, having merited neither an invitation nor mention at the Opera Residence’s official unveiling in 1973.
Thankfully, Utzon lived extended sufficient to be awarded the Pritzker Prize—official recognition for obtaining developed “one of the wonderful iconic buildings of the twentieth century”—and to style (across oceans) the Opera House’s Utzon Room, completed in 2004.
The celebration this weekend to mark the 40th anniversary of the Sydney Opera House will include Denmark’s Crown Prince and Princess, but the developing’s architect will once more be missing. We’re willing to bet, although, that Australia will this time accord Utzon, who died in 2008, the tribute he deserves for giving them “those indelible ceramic sails on the Tasmanian Sea.”
Photo credits: Promila Shastri