n born Australian
architect. Born in Vienna
in 1923, he escaped to Canada where he studied architecture at the University of Manitoba
. He subsequently did post-graduate studies in architecture
at the Harvard
school of design under Walter Gropius
and Marcel Breuer
. After graduation in 1946 he briefly worked with Oscar Niemeyer
and Alvar Aalto
before deciding to migrate to Australia
He is famous for introducing Bauhaus ideas into the Australian landscape : glass walls, split-level mezzanine floors, column-free internal space, low-rise butterfly roofs, geometric curves, a complete absence of heritage or faddish stylisms and oodles of pre-cast concrete. His philosophy of combining social use, technology and aethetic expression into his work has made his designs economical to construct while remaining what he calls a totally integrated work of art.
Major works of his include Australia Square (Sydney), the MLC Building featured in the dystophic background of Silverchair's Anthem for the Year 2000 video clip (Sydney), the Australian embassy in Paris, the QV1 Building (Perth), Benjamin Offices (Canberra), Hochhaus Neue Donau apartments (Vienna), Horizon Apartments (Sydney), and lots of public housing in Canberra.
Harry has been the subject of criticism over his monolithic architectural styles by Sydney residents who would prefer the city to retain a more sentimental tone. He once unsuccessfully sued local wag Patrick Cook over his Harry Seidler Memorial Retirement Home cartoon, featuring a tower of boxes with food being shovelled in one end and shit out the other (apartment living is a recent phenomenon in Australia).
He recently became an outspoken critic of Australia's practice of detaining asylum seekers, as he himself was once a refugee.