The Utzon Centre, Aalborg

August 2, 2010

The Utzon Centre, built on the waterfront of the Lim Fjord in Aalborg, Denmark, was the last work of the architect Jorn Utzon, a local boy, who died in 2008 aged 90. If you think you don’t know who he is, well, you do. He created the “most famous building of the (20th) Century”. This one:

picture courtesy of Wikipedia

Just when he’d finished work on the interior things changed and when the “new ruling party” wanted it finished quickly and cheaply, well, he said no, and left the project. You can read the full saga here.

The Utzon Centre is a little like a Mini Me Sydney Opera House. And as such it’s not the most striking of buildings from the outside. I wanted to take some pictures but I just couldn’t find a way to do them. It does photograph well, particularly when lit up at night and photographed by others (take a look at the site). I couldn’t manage it. I was, sadly, a little underwhelmed.

But inside is a different story. Then it all makes sense. Everything about this building is aimed at making it a place to be in, not to be out of. Go in. Use your Aalborg card, then it’s free. Enjoy the light, the space, the floor, the textures, the wood. I’m guessing the interior of this building was not finished quickly and cheaply.

The Utzon Centre floor


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