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Gradation of Direction





Jørn Utzon’s design for the Sydney Opera House was influenced by the movement of sailing boats on Sydney Harbour. The buildings shells use a graduation of direction to suggest the arc of sails as they are buffeted by the harbour breezes.

A gradation of direction is also used to create the organic curves of the large glass curtain walls from flat sheets of glass.

Sydney Opera House showing gradation of direction

Jørn Utzon (1918-2008) Sydney Opera House – Opened 1973

Part of Renzo Piano’s structure on Genova Harbour is made up of huge steel spars, anchored to a point in the harbour and held in place by a complex arrangement of cables and pulleys. The spars fan out across the steel and fabric roof they suspend. The graduation in direction of the spars and rigging play a major part in the function and impact of the design.

Renzo Piano - Genova Harbour Project

Renzo Piano - Genova Harbour Project

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