Architecture: The Fifth Facade

"The drawings submitted for this scheme are simple to the point of being diagrammatic," observed the jury in 1957. "Nevertheless, we are convinced that they present a concept of an opera house that is capable of becoming one of the great buildings of the world."

The goal of the international competition was a design for a cultural center for the rugged city of Sydney, Australia. Winning architect was Denmark's Joern Utzon, now 47, who until then had built only a few housing projects. The drawings seemed a fantasy. In construction, they have...

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