Third Generation of Modern Architecture and Contemporary Spanish Architecture.

Jørn Utzon’s Legacy


Jaime J. Ferrer Forés


  • modern organicism
  • regional work
  • formal analogies
  • poetic work

Jørn Utzon, as an exponent of the “third generation” of modern architecture, has had a significant influence upon contemporary architecture across the world, and his legacy has inspired many outstanding contemporary architects, particularly in Denmark, Australia, and Spain. The spirit of his work has influenced many Spanish contemporary architects, shifting the theoretical paradigm of modern architecture towards a more humane and contextual direction, such as Rafael Moneo’s approach culturally grounded in place, Alberto Campo Baeza’s opposition of earthwork _versus _roofwork, the development of geometric systems as project-generating elements by Nieto & Sobejano, Mansilla + Tuñón and Carlos Ferrater, RCR Arquitectes’ connection with the landscape and sensitivity regarding the territory.

Utzon’s work has had a direct impact on Spanish architecture, and above all on Rafael Moneo, who worked for him. Jørn Utzon chose Majorca as a place to retire from his professional life, spending long periods of time in Can Lis since 1973 and in a new house at S’Horta called Can Feliz. His poetic work in Majorca is also a testimony of his legacy that has influenced contemporary Spanish architecture. We argue that Spanish architecture honors Utzon’s legacy not by repeating it but by extending it. His work seems closer and more relevant than ever.