An exquisite tapestry representing the historic collaboration between two of the 20th century’s greatest architects was unveiled recently for public viewing at the Sydney Opera House.

The Utzon-Le Corbusier tapestry was created in 1958 when the then little-known Jørn Utzon after winning the Sydney Opera House design competition, approached one of the most famous architects of the age, Le Corbusier to collaborate on the Opera House. This collaboration led to the creation of the tapestry, Les Dés Sont Jetés (‘The Dice Are Cast’).

It was bold of Utzon to invite the Swiss-French architect to create Opera House artworks since Le Corbusier was not known for collaborating with other architects. However, Le Corbusier agreed and the two architects met the following year in Paris to discuss the collaboration. One year later, the tapestry was woven in the French town of Aubusson and delivered to Utzon at his home in Denmark.

The Les Dés Sont Jetés hung in Utzon’s home in Hellebæk till it was acquired in 2015 thanks to the support and generosity of a group of Opera House donors and staff, and facilitated by the NSW Government.

The tapestry is a rare glimpse into Utzon’s original vision for the Opera House interiors and a signal gift as the Opera House’s Decade of Renewal gets underway. The tapestry will hang in the Western Foyers, one of only two Opera House interiors designed by Jørn Utzon.

Describing the tapestry as “an extraordinary piece of the original DNA” that will be injected back into the Opera House, Sydney Opera House CEO Louise Herron AM observed that Jørn Utzon always intended the interiors of his masterpiece to be filled with the work of the great artists of his day.

She notes that the efforts of Opera House donors led by Peter Weiss AO have enabled them to put this work on public display. Ms Herron added that the Opera House’s Decade of Renewal is about ensuring the bold spirit that inspired the Opera House continues to inspire future generations.

Image: Joseph Skrzynski AO, Louise Herron AM, Peter Weiss AO, Michael Crouch AO at the unveiling of the Le Corbusier tapestry