utzon, paustian forest of columns (1985-87)
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utzon's forest of columns.
the real subtlety of the paustian house lies with the prefab concrete columns: near the entrance and the view to the habour, they are placed in a very dense grid, chopping up the view of the exterior into bits of colour.
as you penetrate this contracted space, you pass the big skylight and the grid module is doubled, the balconies are discontinued and the columns rise uninterrupted to full height. in this central space, utzon then removes a single column, doubling the grid module once again.
this detail of the missing column is rarely noticed by visitors but the sense of arrival, of expansion, of space is tangible.
if there is such a thing as wisdom in architecture, this is it: a sense of space achieved by the almost undetected removal of matter - less architecture is more architecture, an important lesson in a time of strained sculptural projects everywhere.
the whole thing was done on a next-to-nothing budget, utzon applying parts and solutions from prefab industrial buildings only.
the forest-of-columns idea was first developed by utzon in collaboration with tobias faber in their competition entry for a new crystal palace, 1946.
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