Harry Seidler

Essay by BoO!High School, 12th gradeA-, March 2006

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Harry Seidler was born in Vienna, 1923; he grew up to study architecture and went on to become one of the leading and most well-known modernist Architects in Australia and the World. He was a part of the traditional Orthodox Jewish congregation.

Seidler flew Austria in 1938 when it was invaded by the Nazi regime. After being discovered as an enemy alien in Britain, he was shipped to Canada which is where he studied architecture. He came to Sydney, Australia in 1948 to re-unite with his parents. Ten years later, he gained Australian citizenship and married Penelope Evatt. He had two children with her. He was one of the first Jewish war refugees to come to Australia, this lead to many other Jews coming to Australia. He has never practised his faith excessively, but his faith inspired many of his designs. One of his best-known works is the Rose Seidler House, a Bauhaus styled home in the northern suburbs of Sydney.

Because he was the first person in Australia to employ this style, the house was poorly looked upon by the Sydney Council but is now classified and protected as a historic home. Harry Seidler submitted a design for Australia Square in the 1960's, the first circular high rise in Australia.

Harry Seidler has received much praise and won many prestigious awards over his life. Seidler was one of the founding members of the Australian Architecture Association. In 1987 he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia. In 1976, Harry Seidler received the Royal Australian Institute of Architects gold medal as well as five Sulman medals. In 1996 he received the gold medal from the Royal British Institute of Architects.

He was the first person in Australia to fully employ the Bauhaus style which can now be commonly...