Jørn Utzon's statements

"Architecture is about creating a humane and friendly world around us. It is the ability to understand what surroundings we need as people."


"On the road from the first idea – the first sketch – to the final building, a host of possibilities arise for the architect and the team of engineers, contractors and artisans."


"I like to be on the edge of the possible."


"As an architect I believe that it is very important to fall in love with the nature of things instead of fighting for form and style."


"I have a strange, innate sense for space. I dream a house and then I have it in my head."


"Nature knows nothing about compromise - it accepts all difficulties, not as difficulties as such, but rather as new factors that configure a totality."


"Design is very much the process of selection and omitting the elements that obscure the strength of a concept."


"Being an architect to me means having a wonderful profession. It has been a gift from God. It is a joy to have a profession with such a strong element of humanism."


"The architect's gift to society is to bring joy to the people from the surroundings he creates."


"In fact, I was the second most inept boy in my class at school in Aalborg, only surpassed by a pure lunatic."


"The architect must possess the faculty of conceptualising, an ability that is sometimes named imagination, sometimes dreaming."


"We arrange everything in relation to ourselves."


"If we want to enhance our concept of architecture, we must understand that the architectural expression in all changing circumstances arises in pact with the structure of the society."


"You have to integrate yourself in the materials at hand and be able to utilise them according to their nature."


"It takes a healthy sense towards life. It takes an understanding of how to walk, stand, sit and lie comfortably, to enjoy the sunshine, the shadows, the water touching your body, the soil and the host of less definable sensory impressions."


"My laboratory is the beech forests, and the sea, and the clouds."


"Once you understand the nature of a material, you understand more intimately its potential in a far more tangible way than through mathematical formulas and constants."


"An urge of well-being must be the foundation of all architecture if you want to achieve harmony between the rooms you design and the activity taking place in them. This is very simple and sensible."


"To be able to use those surroundings for all the activities in our lives, combined with knowledge and fantasy."


"Only when the foundation for the choice between the various solutions derives from the awareness that the building must provide the people who are to live in it, with delight and inspiration, do the correct solutions to the problems fall like ripe fruits."


"To be in contact with the time, the ambience, to perceive the inspiration in the task itself are requirements if you are to translate the demands of the task into an architectural language that comprises a unity of all the different factors."