Up a narrow set of carpeted stairs. The space is drenched in light; it all seems too obvious. I feel overwhelmed; there are people everywhere. I go back down the stairs and outside to start again. I turn and walk up the steep driveway to reorient myself with Rose Seidler House Sydney.
There is a substantial dissimilarity between the environment and the house; this makes it easy to focus. It is a salient presence as it rises from the earth with stone and then transitions to artificial materials. The juxtaposition of all the straight lines of the building with the gnarly branches of the trees is exquisite.
Harry Seidler designed this house for his mother, Rose; she lived in it with his father, Max, for over twenty years. Completed in 1950, it is an excellent example of the Modernist/Bauhaus movement. The balance between function and form, lack of ornamentation and no corridors; are hallmarks of a new era in design. The tension between the house and the environment is very alluring.
I think it was the perfect house for the uncomplicated Australian of this time. Australia was at the beginning of a massive period of European immigration that would shape our tastes and culture over the coming decades. It is no wonder that Australians and specifically Sydneysiders, lauded this house; it is desirable, with a timeless quality.
An incredible amount of natural light flows in; everything is illuminated, and nature views from every window. The fireplace, its large stone hearth, sits flush with the floor; there is enough room for a body or two—a glimpse of the ephemeral. My senses are searching for fleeting beauty in spaces. I don’t always find it; sometimes, it finds me.
The inviting Euro Saarinen Womb chair overlooks the valley, the northern orientation. A wonderful winter house. I can easily picture Rose in her kitchen; so much thought to function and form being placed in this space. Rose was one of the first housewives in Australia to have a dishwasher. The moderation showed something that required discipline for a project with few financial constraints.
It’s difficult to fully appreciate any house when it is not lived in, the melancholy that sits silently beside greatness. This is especially true of this house as it has become an expectation-filled example of what should be. Rose Seidler’s home in Sydney was well worth the visit. An overt expression of the love between mother (and father) and son, introducing us to the work of an influential architect.
Post Script – I am glad I took a few minutes to allow the previous visitors to finish their tour. It is essential to pay attention to your mood when you visit anything. You want to enjoy it. Your mind needs to be relaxed and open. So if you need to reset, then do it.
Address 71 Clissold Road Wahroonga NSW 2076 Open Sundays only 10 am-4 pm.
For detailed information, http:// https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/rose-seidler-house
If you would like more architecture https://thelocalproject.com.au
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