Harry & Penelope Seidler House: commemorating 50 years

Saturday 28 October 2017 was the 50th anniversary of the iconic Harry & Penelope Seidler House in Killara.

The Sydney Living Museums Foundation fundraising evening was hosted by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Michael Rose AM, and Penelope Seidler AM, who were joined by Minister for the Arts The Hon Don Harwin MLC, and more than 50 distinguished guests to pay tribute to the vision of the late Harry Seidler.

Guest speaker Professor Philip Goad from the University of Melbourne eloquently described the importance of the house (Professor Goad’s speech is reproduced in full below) and its place in history:

As a work of modernist architecture in Australia, it’s exceptional ...

... Not only does it represent one of the high points in the Seidlers’ move towards mass, texture, structural bravura and permanence in their architecture after the 1950s, it also continues career-long themes of the search for a total work of art that encompasses architecture, landscape, interiors, furniture all in combination with the collecting of paintings, sculpture and textiles.

The event was a rare opportunity for guests to see this house and its surrounding landscape, and we would like to thank Penelope for opening her home, and our generous donors for their continuing support of the organisation.

Our thanks to Edward Simpson, Chair of the SLM Foundation, and everyone who contributed to the evening. The event raised much-needed funds to support our work of conserving heritage properties.

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Deck and Harry Seidler mural at Rose Seidler House.

A new way of living

Once word spread about the newly built Rose Seidler House in 1950, it was the ‘most talked about house in Sydney’. Seventy years on, it's impossible to deny the strength and daring of Seidler's vision


An environment for living: Rose Seidler House

From the curtains to the coffee table and the cutlery, every object and fitting in the house Harry Seidler designed for his parents was of a functional and flexible design that reflected the modern lifestyle

Painting of rectangular modernist house with white ramp on righthand side in bushland setting.

From the collection: Rose Seidler House artwork

The Rose Seidler House, Christopher Zanko, 2020, acrylic on wood relief carving. Sydney Living Museums

Rose Seidler House, 1950: View from north-west

Mid-century modern

Rose Seidler House, built by Harry Seidler between 1948 and 1950 is regarded as an iconic example of Modernist domestic architecture in Australia