Exhibition celebrating Danish design to open at Opera House

Oct 2, 2013
  • Article by Online Editor
  • Designer

Above: (1) Swan chair by Republic of Fritz Hansen (available in Australia through Corporate Culture); (2) PH 5 pendant by Louis Poulsen (available through Living Edge); (3) Wrong for HAY (available through Cult Designed at Corporate Culture); (4) Bang & Olufsen TV

Coinciding with the Sydney Opera House’s 40th anniversary celebrations and paying homage to its Danish architect Jørn Utzon, Danish Design at the House will assemble a cross-section of significant Danish design against the backdrop of Sydney’s most iconic building.

A key event on the Sydney Architecture Festival program, the exhibition will be on display from 25 October to 11 November and aims to demonstrate the essence of Danish design and architecture, transforming the western foyer of the Opera House into an installation inspired by the sparse, elegant modernism of the Danish living room. Enduring design classics from the Utzon era will be on display alongside innovative and experimental contemporary design in an effort to highlight the ways in which the Danish tradition of minimalism, functionality and craftsmanship continues to shape Danish design of the future, perhaps also revealing why the Opera House is such a relevant and inspiring building today, 40 years after its completion.

Director of Australian architecture firm TERROIR Gerard Reinmuth, who has curated the exhibition in collaboration with Danish curator Karen Kjaergaard, indicates that Utzon’s architecture has formed an essential focus of the exhibition, with the foyer’s six large concrete bay windows appearing from the early planning stages to provide ready-made exhibition cases. They were therefore chosen to frame the exhibits and allow Utzon’s architecture and the famous Harbour view to be serendipitously integrated into the program.

“The windows provide moments of silence in the western foyer and form dramatic views to the Harbour Bridge… The curators have expanded the depth of each [window] into the foyer space slightly, creating six exhibition rooms,” Reinmuth said.

The exhibition is supported by the Danish Arts Foundation and the Danish royal couple, HRH Prince Frederik and HRH Princess Mary, will open the exhibition during a weekend of events that will be centred around their visit.

A one-day symposium exploring the architecture of cultural buildings, featuring discussions between Australian and Danish architects, will coincide with the opening of the exhibition on 25 October. Read more about the symposium, ‘Next Generation, here.


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