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jørn utzon, architect: kingohusene courtyard houses, helsingør 1956-1960 | by seier+seier
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jørn utzon, architect: kingohusene courtyard houses, helsingør 1956-1960

kingohusene courtyard houses, helsingør / elsinore, denmark 1956-1960

architect: jørn utzon, 1918-2008


looking from private courtyard to neighbour.


kingohusene was the first large scale project in which utzon was able to pursue his ideas fully. he acted as his own developer with backing from his father. they managed to afford building a single house after which they invited the press and potential buyers. the project was an instant success. it was among the cheapest housing on the marked at the time, the utzons aiming it at the workers at the local elsinore shipyard.


they are not cheap anymore.


when the sydney opera house competition was won only months later, several of utzon's own employees moved in. some are still there.


it is an early example of utzon's uncanny ability to create a synthesis out of extremely diverse sources: everyone will recognize the traditional chinese courtyard house and the chinese gables, yet the treatment of the masonry refers more to p.v. jensen-klint's reinterpretation of hanseatic gothic and the implied ruskinian principles herein. the almost windowless street facades remind us of islamic courtyard houses rather than chinese and of utzon's great love of the architecture of morocco and iran. frank lloyd wright is also present, especially in the facades towards the courtyard.


sverre fehn called utzon's work "world architecture" - consider for a moment how far removed the image above is from the international style of MoMA's 1932 exhibition.


each plot is 15 by 15 meters and there are 60 houses in the entire development which was built in three stages from 1957-1960.


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more utzon here and here

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Taken on October 1, 2007