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jørn utzon, architect's own house, hellebæk, 1950-1952 | by seier+seier
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jørn utzon, architect's own house, hellebæk, 1950-1952

architect's own house, hellebæk, 1950-1952.

architect: jørn utzon.

 

it is spring and time to revisit the classics.

 

this is the long gravel track leading to utzon's own house situated in hellebæk some fifty kilometers north of copenhagen and completed in 1952.

 

from the coastal road in hellebæk, you turn down an unmarked track that takes you through the forest to the blank yellow brick wall that marks the entrance.

 

this is the very same tall beech forest that utzon's has spoken of in interviews and written about in his too few texts...the beech forest whose measurements have been applied to the columns of the national assembly in kuwait and the paustian furniture store. parallels to nature were never a mere claim with utzon.

 

the story goes that utzon, who built the house at the very onset of his career and on a shoestring budget, could only afford a regular suburban lot but bought one at the end of a street, cancelled the driveway and persuaded the local forester to let him enter through the forest instead.

 

this is propably apocryphal, though it should be noted that many of the most colourful stories about utzon appear to originate with himself.

 

regardless, the effect is startling. it feels like you a leaving civilisation to live in the woods, closer to thoreau than any wright building I have been to.

 

more utzon here and here

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Taken on May 3, 2008