Denmark - 1959-62
by Jorn Utzon,
2003 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate
Photo by Bent Ryberg/Planet Foto
Photo by Arne Magnussen & Vibeke Maj Magnussen
The success of Jorn Utzon's Kingo Housing Project at Helsingor led to another for the Dansk Samvirke, a support organization for Danish citizens who worked for long periods abroad in business or the foreign service. They wanted a development for retirees who had returned to Denmark and so that they could live in a community and share their experiences.
Utzon accepted the task of conceiving the program and designing the houses, even though no site had been found, and without fee if the project was not built. He helped find the site in Fredensborg, North Zealand, and developed a plan that allowed each house to have a view of and direct access to a green slope. Since there was no comparable society to this anywhere, Utzon had to invent the details of the project and make them conform to his idea for the individual houses. One of the things the committee wanted was a center where the residents could meet, along with a dining room and kitchen, a communal lounge, and party area. Some office space was needed as well as several guest rooms. Thus, the project effectively became a small hotel.
In the end, the Fredensborg development was designed with 47 courtyard and 30 terraced houses. The terraced houses were grouped around a square in staggered blocks of three, with all entrances from the square. A detailed account of this project is available in a book titled Jorn Utzon - Houses in Fredensborg by Tobias Faber with photographs by Jens Frederiksen.
~Commentary by the Pritzker Prize Committee
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