Harry & Penelope Seidler House, Max Dupain, 1967. Max Dupain & Associates
Archive: 7704-35, State Library of NSW © Penelope Seidler

Site Overview

site name:
Harry and Penelope Seidler House
Harry & Penelope Seidler
date of commission:
date of completion:

Killara, Sydney, NSW
Residential / Houses (RES)
Noni Boyd, Anne Higham (2003)


The building occupies a steep bushland site, sloping westwards to a creek. The building is approached from the road at the top and steps down from a cantilevered garage through four half levels which follow the slope of the land.

The structure consists of four suspended concrete trays supported by reinforced concrete block traverse blades which divide the building into north-facing daytime/active spaces, a central circulation spine and nighttime/passive spaces.

The top-level consists of kitchen, dining and study, the next living room and main bedroom, the third children’s room and bathroom, with the studio, laundry and guest bedroom at the bottom having access to the garden.

The house embodies both a vertical and horizontal extension of space. The level changes and central open well provide a visual link from top to bottom. Large areas of glass and projecting terraces draw the eye out from each level to the natural landscape setting.

Materials include board-formed reinforced concrete, rubble stonework, white concrete blockwork and Tasmanian Oak boarded ceilings.

The integrated artworks include Albers tapestries ‘Ful!’, ‘Homage to the Square’, lithographs and paintings “Impartial ‘ and “Structural Constellation’, several “Positive-Negative” sculptures by Norman Carlberg, two Calder stabiles, an Arp tapestry and paintings by Vasarely and Andy Warhol.

photo by Harry Seidler, 1967. © Penelope Seidler
Harry and Penelope Seidler House, Killara. Photo © Brenton McGeachie

Harry and Penelope Seidler House, KIllara, in a Video by Monocle Magazine