When it comes to performing arts venues, the Sydney Opera House is one of the most strikingly beautiful, and the first to create a "destination" building (long before the Guggenheim in Bilbao). It's architect, Jorn Utzon of Denmark is the winner of the prestigious Pritzker Prize for 2003. In poor health at age 85, Utzon lives on the Spanish island of Majorca, and will be honored with the Prize on May 20 at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid. His son, architect Jan Utzon, will accept the award on his father's behalf.
Begun in 1959 and completed in 1973, the Sydney Opera House is an immediately recognizable icon for the city of Sydney, and put Utzon on the map as an architect. The Pritzker jury chair, Lord Rothschild noted, "Jorn Utzon created one of the most iconic buildings of the 20th century, an image of great beauty known throughout the world."