A few nights ago I watched a captivating documentary about the life and career of Harry Seidler. Since I moved to Australia four years ago I have become more and more fascinated with contemporary architecture. I don’t mean the generic box like dwellings that occupy most suburbs around the world. Ultimately I am talking about sustainable buildings that have involved serious consideration and are designed to last the test of time. Certainly this was Harry Seidler’s primary objective.
Harry Seidler originated from Vienna, Austria and was seduced by the glamour and quality of lifestyle Sydney, Australia had to offer. His modernistic approach to architecture was influenced by greats like Le Corbusier, Josef Albers and Oscar Niemeyer. He also collaborated with photographers and visual artists to achieve the maximum results. For over forty years he ran a successful practice called Harry Seidler & Associates which, specialized in the design of both commercial and residential buildings. Certainly my personal favorite is the iconic “House in Southern Highlands” designed for the Berman family.
The “House in Southern Highlands” (referred to now as the Seidler House) was commissioned in 1996 by Mr. & Mrs. Peter Berman and completed in 1999 at an estimated cost of around $6 Million. Architecturally speaking this is one of the finest single family residential homes I have ever seen. Considering Australia now has the largest homes in the world this property isn’t massively oversize and has footprint of 360 square metres. Nevertheless, its imposing position at the top of a cliff overlooking the Wingecarribee River, Joadja, Mittagong and Bowral in the Southern Highlands (New South Wales, Australia) is truly spectacular.
Internally the “House in Southern Highlands” uses a range of exquisite materials including local stone, Alta quartzite, Verde marina granite and Norwegian stone. There is also a massive expanse of glass used to frame the magnificent surrounding views. Other features include open fireplaces, spacious decking areas, landscaped gardens and a large outdoor swimming pool. Every detail has been meticulously considered and the end result is absolutely stunning.
Presently this modern masterpiece is used as luxury five-star boutique hotel that will cost around $12,705AUD (approximately $9,508) for 7 nights’ accommodation (based on 4 adults + 4 children).