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Baleares Gold Medal for Jørn Utzon


On the occasion of the Día de les Illes Balears, to be celebrated next Sunday, March 1st, Jørn Utzon, the late Danish architect, Pritzker laureate and long-time resident in Mallorca, was posthumously awarded the Medalla d’Or de la Comunitat 2009 (the Balearic Gold Medal). Why Mallorca had to wait till after Utzon’s death to honour him, nobody knows. Anyway, the awards will be presented tonight at the Palma Auditorium by Francesc Antich i Oliver, President del Govern de les Illes Balears.


Jørn Utzon is best known for designing the Sydney Opera House in Australia. The Sydney Opera was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007, when Jørn Utzon was still alive. Here in Mallorca, Utzon designed Can Lis, Can Lin and Can Feliz (for the latter, see photo above). 


In 2003, Utzon was asked to be involved in redesigning some interior areas of the Opera House such as the reception hall. After his demise, Utzon’s son Jan and his grandson, Jeppe, both also architects, were commissioned to modify the interior design of the Sydney Opera. The aim is to re-appraise some of Jørn Utzon’s original designs that at the time were not adhered to and also, to alleviate space and acoustics problems.

No such modifications are to be carried out in any of the Mallorcan buildings, as far as I know.

The photo (top) was taken near S’Horta, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: December 6th, 2008. The time was 15:21:52. The photo (bottom) was taken from the Internet. It shows Jørn Utzon with a model of the Sydney Opera House. Credit for this photo is due to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper. Many thanks, mates.

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