1949 to 1956 | State Library of New South Wales

Seidler's scrapbooks - volume 1 (1949-1956)

This scrap album contains articles relating to Harry Seidler’s early career and his interest in modernism, including his projects such as the award winning Rose Seidler House, the Ithaca Gardens apartments in Elizabeth Bay and Waks House in Northbridge, as well as his ongoing battles with local councils and bureaucracy.

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> View Harry Seidler's complete scrapbook, Vol.1, 1949-1956 catalogue link

Articles on Seidler’s early career refer to him as unconventional and innovative: "Once you’ve seen a Seidler house, you’ll never forget it" (1955), "Innovation in architecture" (1954), "An architect of controversy" (1954), "His home designs startled Sydney" (1954). Seidler’s modernist designs shocked some of Sydney: "High priest of the twentieth century – Harry Seidler has trouble persuading conservatives that his houses are just right for the modern age" (1950), "New architecture exciting, but - houses with legs frighten Sydney home-seekers" (1955), "House without inside walls!" (1956).

Seidler’s early career was plagued by battles with local councils: "Council won’t pass modernistic roof" (1949), "Architect may fight ban on home plan" (1950), "Model home banned" (1950), "Architect wins dispute over house design" (1951), "Council agrees to new design" (1952), "Unconventional house causes stir" (1952).

Rose Seidler house

Rose Seidler House, 1951, architect Harry Seidler. From Sir John Sulman award winning buildings, 1934-1966.
Photograph. PXA 6900

> See original plans and photographs of Rose Seidler House catalogue link

The press at the time referred to Rose Seidler House in Wahroonga, as "Ultra-modern" and "The most talked-about house in Sydney" (1952). Designed by Seidler for his parents, it won the Sulman Award in 1951. The young Harry Seidler is portrayed as "Architect beats convention" (1952), "Medal won by rebel architect" (1952), "Young man who trod an eventful trail from Vienna wins one of Australia’s major awards in home design" (1952).

Another of his projects, Waks House, built on a cliffside in Northbridge, is referred to as an "ingenious and practical solution...to building a house on a difficult slope" (1951).

Waks House Northbridge

Waks House, Minimbah Road, Northbridge, ca. 1951, by Harry Seidler
Architectural drawing. PXD 613 tube 60