Jørn Utzon´s home town, in particular the harbour front in Aalborg, is an obvious location for a building presenting Utzon´s special approach to architecture and design.
The most spectacular of Jørn Utzon’s buildings is the Sydney Opera House – one of the most well-known and iconic buildings of the 20th century. The creation of this exceptional building and some of his other structures among other things have their origin in the maritime environment in Aalborg, where Jørn Utzon spent an important part of his youth.
His father, Aage Utzon, was a naval engineer in Aalborg and an outstanding boat designer, a keen hunter and a lover of nature, who with his legendary sharp-sterned vessels ("spidsgattere") contributed to developing a quite new generation of sailing-boats in Denmark.
The ideas and work methods of the naval engineer and boat designer gave rise to his son´s interest in designing, which finds expression in his maritime motifs. Jørn Utzon also uses the inspiration and knowledge he got from his childhood in the docks of Aalborg as a starting point.
Aage Utzon gave Jørn Utzon a life-long passion for sailing and a profound appreciation of nature together with a clear understanding of the relation between materials and structure.
Therefore, the Utzon Center presents Aage Utzon´s last - and fastest -sharp-sterned vessel ("Spidsgatter"), a 30 m2 naval - also called Sisu. This was also the name which Jørn Utzon gave the load-bearing beams bearing the roof shells of the Sidney Opera House.
The "Spidsgatter" with the sails set can be seen in the 18 m high "Spidsgatter" Hall.
The Spidsgatterboat was bought by the Utzon Center A/S in 2009.
By Thomas Arvid Jaeger