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date: 19 August 2019

Seidler, Harrylocked

(b Vienna, June 25, 1923; d Sydney, March 9, 2006).
  • Philip Drew

Extract

(b Vienna, June 25, 1923; d Sydney, March 9, 2006).

Australian architect and writer of Austrian birth. He moved to England in 1938 to escape Nazism and he attended a building crafts course in Cambridge (1938–40). In 1940 he was interned and in 1941 was sent to Canada where he studied architecture at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, graduating in 1944. After working in Toronto for a year he received a scholarship that took him to Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, where he studied (March, 1946) at the Graduate School of Design under Walter Gropius; in the same class were Ulrich Franzen (b 1921), Henry Ives Cobb and I. M. Pei. At Gropius’s suggestion, Seidler then spent a summer studying with Josef Albers at Black Mountain College, NC, returning to New York to become Marcel Breuer’s chief assistant (1946–8). In 1948, after working briefly with Oscar Niemeyer in Rio de Janeiro, he joined his family in Sydney, where he opened his own office. Each of these experiences made an important contribution to the architecture of extraordinary consistency and quality that Seidler developed. He absorbed theory from Gropius, a liking for hard-edged, geometric and minimalist composition from Albers, and the spatial ideas and choice of materials of Breuer. Later, in the 1960s, the structural rationalism of Pier Luigi Nervi contributed to the increasing expressiveness of Seidler’s forms....

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