Beginning May 25, the Sydney Living Museums will feature 30 iconic Australian homes to celebrate Aussie architecture from the 1950s to the present.
The oldest piece in the exhibit is the Rose Seidler House in Wahroonga finished in 1950 by Harry Seidler.
Karen McCartney, exhibition curator, recalled that people used to drive by the house on a Saturday afternoon to walk through the bushes and have a glimpse of the house, which people then found to be extraordinary, modern and incredible.
The house was featured in the Home Beautiful and House and Garden magazines, which showcased the all the American appliances of its kitchen. At that time, those appliances, now considered standard fixtures of any kitchen, were deemed avant-garde, McCartney said.
Another unique feature of the house was its shift away from the colonial-style of designs to designs that fit more the Australian weather. It helped start a trend towards an indoor-outdoor living continuum, more storage areas, bigger and more luxurious bathrooms and open-plan living. Internal walls really came down, she added.
“If you look at homes in the 1940s and 50s it was all very divided – the kitchen was very separate to the dining room, which was very separate to the living space, and what you saw in the Rose Seidler house was internal divisions come down and space open up,” McCartney explained.