Jørn Utzon and Transcultural Essentialism

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This book introduces and defines the burgeoning concepts of transculturalism and essentialism and how they relate to one another, as articulated with reference to the work of Jørn Utzon. It introduces critical contemporary perspectives of the design thinking and career of this renowned Danish architect, internationally recognised for his competition-winning, iconic design for the Sydney Opera House – an outstanding exemplar of transcultural essentialism in architecture.

Transcultural essentialism is analysed through the lens of critical regionalism and architectural phenomenology, with emphasis on the sense of place and tectonics in Utzon’s architectural works. It provides a new understanding of the Danish architect as an early proponent of a still emergent and increasingly relevant direction in architecture. Going beyond biographical studies, it presents a more comprehensive understanding of the broad range of transcultural influences that formed his thinking.

The volume includes numerous previously unpublished photographs, drawings, and interviews with Utzon’s family members, former students, and colleagues, offering a significant contribution to the existing body of knowledge for any architecture scholar interested in Utzon’s work and design principles. The book also comprises a Foreword by eminent architecture theorist Juhani Pallasmaa in which he provides insights into the wider architectural and cultural context of Utzon’s worldview.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages268
ISBN (Electronic)9781000457902
ISBN (Print)9780367555870
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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