A High Standard of Ordinaryness
The Houses of Jorn Utzon
Viewing a great building then imprisoning it in a special category in our mind is tempting. Danish houses from the 1950’s like Jorn Utzon’s own combine ordinary as well as extraordinary qualities. These houses, supported by affordable government grants for modest dwellings limited to 130sqm and a construction cost ceiling. Some were self build, using simple timber post and beam and brick wall structures. Influenced by FLW but designed for the Scandinavian climate, they are lessons in relaxed planning, uncomplicated detailing and modest character. A ‘high standard of ordinariness’ my former boss, Robert Maguire would say. They whisper, rather than shout their message.