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ARCHITECTURE

Danish architect’s Sydney Opera House drama to be film

The story of the Sydney Opera House and its Danish architect Jørn Utzon is to be made into a movie, with the producer behind 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' on board.

Danish architect's Sydney Opera House drama to be film
The story of Utzon's work on the Sydney Opera House "has all it takes for the big screen". Photo: Nickliv/Flickr
The Danish/Swedish/Australian production will tell the story of how Utzon upset the conservative Australian architectural establishment by winning an international competition to design the building and his battles to push through his radical ideas.
 
“Utzon was a great Danish architect and the story of how he created the Sydney Opera is both fascinating and scary. This story has to be told,” said Danish executive producer Ole Søndberg in a statement late Monday.
 
Søndberg is best known for producing 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' and the 'Millennium-trilogy' based on Stieg Larsson's novels. He was also behind the popular 'Wallander' television series.
 
For the Utzon project he will team up with Swedish-Australian producer Jan Marnell, who has worked on a number of television mini-series and features over the last 30 years.  
 
Utzon arrived in Sydney as a celebrity in 1957 but his ambitious design, with the building's distinctive white sails drawn from his childhood in the Aalborg shipyards, was hit by domestic politics, petty jealousies and budget constraints.
 
The controversies that dogged him and the project for years saw him quit in 1966.
 
He never returned to see his revolutionary concept as a finished building, which was opened in 1973 by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, and he died in 2008.
 
A year before his death, the harbourside building was added to the World Heritage List, with the committee saying the structure “stands by itself as one of the indisputable masterpieces of human creativity, not only in the 20th century but in the history of humankind”.
 
“We have a world wonder. We have its creator who wasn't allowed to see his dream fulfilled,” said producer Marnell.
 
“We have creativity versus bureaucracy and political maneuvering ranging from friend to foe. We have an outstanding architect with streaks of megalomania and genius, and his vengeful opponents who plot to get him out of the country,”
 
“It has all it takes for the big screen.”
 
No details were given on when 'Utzon: The Man Behind the Opera House' would begin filming.

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ARCHITECTURE

Danish architect designs flagship Norwegian whale centre

Danish designer Dorte Mandrup will be the architect behind a visitors’ centre for whale spotters northern Norway.

Danish architect designs flagship Norwegian whale centre
An Orca photographed within the Norwegian Arctic Circle. File photo: Olivier MORIN / AFP

The centre, named The Whale, will be located at Andenes, 300 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, Norwegian business media E24 and Danish newspaper Berlingske reported.

Initially launched in May 2018 at an estimated cost of around 200 million Norwegian kroner, the project is priced at up to 350 million Norwegian kroner, according to E24 and Berlingske. It is expected to be completed in 2022.

The whale centre has already attracted attention from travel publisher Lonely Planet.

According to the website of Mandrup’s archictectural firm, the building “rises as a soft hill on the rocky shore – as if a giant had lifted a thin layer of the crust of the earth and created a cavity underneath”.

Up to 70,000 people annually have been projected to visit the remote wildlife centre, which will be a combination of museum and tourist attraction.

Because of its geographical position, scenery and wildlife at Andenes makes the area a unique attraction.

That includes a midnight sun for two months from May to July, as well as the winter polar nights, when the sun doesn’t rise at all.

READ ALSO: North Norway's polar night is about to begin. Here are the facts you need to know

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