Rose Seidler House

After his release from internment during the war, Harry Seidler remained in North America and  developed his passion for architecture. He initially studied at the University of Manitoba, and later with world-renowned architect Walter Gropius at Harvard University. He went on to work with many high-profile and influential architects including Marcel Breuer and Oscar Niemeyer.

In 1947, Harry Seidler received an invitation from his parents to come to Australia and design them a home at Turramurra (now Wahroonga).

Rose Seidler House

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Completed in 1950, Rose Seidler House immediately created a sensation. The house featured glass walls, asymmetrical composition, cubic shapes and a flat roof; this was architecture unlike anything built in Australia before.

Harry Seidler spoke with Janis Wilton in 1982 about this important commission by his parents to design them a home:

"You can't have a better captive client than a mother. That house was built in 1948-1950, but it's still of our time. The interior is free-flowing space. It isn't boxes of rooms, other than bedrooms that can be closed off, of course. But the freedom inside makes a house look much bigger than it really is."

Audio IconListen to an interview with Harry Seidler by Janis Wilton, 1982, regarding his arrival to Australia and early architectural works.

In 1951 Rose Seidler House won the RAIA Sir John Sulman Medal, one of the most prestigious awards in Australian architecture and the first of five he has won. Harry Seidler was 28 years old. Bringing international modernist ideas and methodology, he almost immediately influenced the shape of local architecture to come.

Afterwards, Seidler had numerous commissions to juggle. He established a successful private practice in Sydney in 1949. The firm, Harry Seidler and Associates, went on to design many award-winning residential and commercial buildings, including Australia Square and the MLC Centre in Sydney.

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Seidler collection

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Made possible through a partnership with Harry Seidler AC OBE & Penelope Seidler