Harry & Penelope Seidler House

Killara, NSW

The Harry & Penelope Seidler House was designed by Harry and Penelope as their family home and completed in 1967 in the Sydney suburb of Killara. The Killara house won the 1967 Wilkinson Award, the third year in a row it was presented to Harry Seidler by the NSW Chapter of Royal Australian Institute of Architects for design of an individual house of outstanding merit.

The Killara house appears discrete from street level, sloping down a rugged bushland site, but from the base of the property where a creek runs, its geometric concrete massing reveals its large scale. The home actually accommodates four levels with a central half-flight of stairs connecting and opening various levels into each other. This results in both unexpected views between floors and appealing vistas out through to the bush setting.

The house was little changed when photographed in 2016 almost 50 years after its completion. The exposed concrete was complemented by ceilings of Tasmanian oak boarding, floors of Norwegian quartzite stone and blue-grey basalt used for the free standing fireplace. The built-in furniture was also Tasmanian oak and the modernist furniture included designs by Marcel Breuer, Eero Saarinen and Charles & Ray Eames. International modernist art is scattered through the house, books and travel souvenirs accumulated from a lifetime associated with architecture and maquettes for sculptures that were used in and around various Seidler-designed buildings.

Photographer: Brenton McGeachie

Date Photographed: October 2016

Original image format: born digital

Copyright: Caroline Simpson Collection, photograph © Brenton McGeachie

Further reading: ‘Architects’ own house, Killara, NSW’, Architecture in Australia, Vol 57, no 2, April 1968, pp313-317

‘Architects’ own home’, Constructional review, vol 41, no 2, Feb 1968, cover + pp6-13

Kenneth Frampton, Philip Drew, Harry Seidler: four decades of architecture, Thames & Hudson, London, 1992

Harry Seidler, Houses & interiors, vols 1&2, Images Publishing Group, Mulgrave Vic., 2003

Documenting NSW homes

Garden study, Harrington Park
Documenting NSW Homes

Recorded for the future: documenting NSW homes

The Caroline Simpson Library has photographically recorded homes since 1989

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