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Harry Seidler

From Academic Kids

Harry Seidler (born 1923) is an Austrian-born architect who works in Australia and is considered to be one of the leading architects of the modern movement there and the first architect to fully express the principles of the Bauhaus in Australia.

Born in Vienna, Seidler fled to England when Nazi Germany occupied Austria in 1938. He was interned by the British authorities as an enemy alien before being shipped to Canada, where he studied architecture. He went to Sydney, Australia in 1948 to reunite with his parents. A decade later he married Penelope (nee Evatt), and together they have two children.

He is a founding memeber of the Australian Architecture Association. In 1984 he became the first Australian to be elected a member of the Acadamie d'Architecture, Paris and in 1987 was made a Companion of the Order of Australia, an honour which he accepted in his tradmark suit and bowtie. Over the years Mr Seidler was also awarded five Sulman Medals by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects, as well as the RAIA Gold Medal in 1976, and the Royal Gold Medal by the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1996.

"For 50 years Harry Seidler has played a vital role in international architecture. His work is widely recognised as an original and intensely creative contribution to the architecture of the second half of the 20th Century."
--Dennis Sharp in his introduction to the book Master architects: Harry Seidler.

Some may wonder whether Mr Sharp's intimate association with Mr Seidler would qualify him as a disinterested observer. Others may point out that one Austrian and one Australian have won the acclaimed Pritzker Prize; and he never has.

As of early May 2005 Seidler is seriously ill after suffering a stroke.

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