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.

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


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John Lovett


John Lovett is an Australian artist working in oils, watercolor and mixed media. Since commencing his career John has held over thirty five solo exhibitions and taken part in many joint ones. John’s work is represented in private and corporate collections in Australia, United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and USA. John’s passion for his work and his open easy approach to teaching make his books, DVD’s and workshops thoroughly enjoyable, extremely informative and always very popular. His articles are regularly featured in “International Artist” magazine.      



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© 2017 John Lovett (all text and images unless otherwise stated)