Utzon & Le Corbusier’s Sydney Opera House Collaboration

08.06.2016
Interior & Design, Makers
6 Comments

Utzon & Le Corbusier's Sydney Opera House Collaboration .,

As a child, a visit to the Sydney Opera House was always a highlight. Visits were fairly regular as each year my parents bought the family season tickets to the Australian Ballet. While they might have been the cheapest tickets available and we were right up the back of the concert hall, I didn’t care, I was there in all of its magic.

When we arrived I would run up the steps of the forecourt in my best dress, looking at the famous sails from different angles. I’d walk through the interior, marvelling at enormous windows and the view of the harbour. While I felt something, I never quite realised at that young age what an incredible piece of architecture it was, or more like it, I didn’t put the label to it, I didn’t even know who Jørn Utzon was. But then I guess kids don’t think about those things. It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I truly appreciated it from an architectural and interior design point of view.

Utzon & Le Corbusier's Sydney Opera House Collaboration 1

Utzon & Le Corbusier's Sydney Opera House Collaboration ;,

This magical place from my childhood recently touched me in an unexpected way. It was at the moment that with what was going on I honestly wondered how I could ever write about interior and design again. It all seemed rather superficial. Then I stumbled upon a four-minute video of how the Sydney Opera House was “bringing home” a tapestry that Jørn Utzon commissioned Le Corbusier to make to hang on the walls on its completion.

It’s a beautiful story and I admit I had tears in my eyes after watching the video. It was the emotion of the Utzon’s vision, it was no doubt the emotion of what I was going through and it was most certainly that of realizing the importance of the expression of art and design to me. I realized that I was indeed in the right place and it was okay for me to write about this stuff.

When I was in Sydney, I made sure that I visited the Opera House to see the tapestry with my own eyes. I hadn’t been there in years. I went there with my sister and both of our children. It was interesting seeing them all run around the building, a little wild but I could feel that the energy of the structure stirred something in them, but without them realizing it, like it once did for me.

Utzon & Le Corbusier's Sydney Opera House Collaboration ;

With all of their excitement, I couldn’t quite sit and truly enjoy the tapestry in the Western Foyer to the extent that I would have liked to (spot them in the reflection of the artwork waiting patiently). I made it there though and I will forever be grateful to this beautifully bold piece of art for igniting that fire inside of me again.

Utzon & Le Corbusier's Sydney Opera House Collaboration

It really is a touching and untold story of the collaboration between two of the 20th century’s greatest architects, for one of the 20th century’s greatest buildings. Instead of me telling it here, I hope that you watch the short video of how it finally made its way “home” for yourself.


If you do make it to the Sydney Opera House, pop into Western Foyers and grab a bite to eat to truly appreciate this incredible gift to the public.

Mel x

P.S. Talking about beautiful design, did you catch my last post about where I’m moving? Exciting!!

Utzon & Le Corbusier's Sydney Opera House Collaboration,,.

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6 Comments

  1. Anya Jensen

    The Opera house is one of my first memories of Sydney – even Australia, seeing Mr. Utzon is one of ours;-) This collaboration is amazing, and I can only imagine you taking it all in whilst enjoying the children taking it in – their way. Mel – I honestly can’t wait to meet you once you move up north. You are gonna love Stockholm, but trust me Copenhagen has got a lot in store for you, and I will be your humble guide :)
    Take care and have a wonderful summer xx Ax

    Reply »

  2. Joanna Cowie

    Hi Mel , I was about to email you about Sweden & read this very moving story & wacked the video .. Just beautiful …. I feel very blessed that my Sons School held their annual prize giving in the Sydney Opera House .. An experience I absolutely treasure ! I’ll email you abput my trip to Sweden privately x Jo

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  3. Julia Barnes

    I’ve always wanted to visit the Sydney Opera House, but never had the pleasure, since I live so far away. But this year husband and I are planning to go! I can’t wait! The architecture just brings me a smile every time I see a picture of it. It’s so magical! It’s fun to read you memories of it, can’t wait to make some of my own. Love the post! And the blog just keeps getting more interesting every time I open it!

    Reply »

    Mel replied:

    Thank you Julia!

    Reply »

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