Rental of the week: a clifftop house by Harry Seidler

Defying gravity in the Australian wilderness

Seidler House perches on a clifftop overlooking a deep, picturesque gorge of the Wingecarribee River.

Designed by architect Harry Seidler, the Australian property was completed in 2000 and was one of the last private residences he worked on before his death in 2006.

Seidler House reveals the influence of the Austrian-born architect’s four mentors – Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, Josef Albers and Oscar Niemeyer – whose styles he absorbed and blended into something uniquely his own.

Carved into a sandstone cliff, in the southern highlands just two hours drive from Sydney, the contemporary holiday home is a striking combination of lines and curves. Sturdy pillars and sharply cornered terraces contrast with the swooping lines of its white roof.

‘Thanks to modern technology, we can bend and twist steel like spaghetti into any configuration we want,’ Seidler told Architectural Digest. ‘A level roof would be rather a dull thing to do on such a marvellous site.’

Courtesy of View Retreats
Courtesy of View Retreats

Inside the modern holiday homeavailable to rent via View Retreats – there are two large living spaces and four bedrooms, sleeping up to eight. Alta quartzite floors and details in Verde marina granite and Norwegian stone fireplaces contrast with crisp white walls.

‘De Kooning and Stella showed the way to free forms in space, and I want to catch up with the artists,’ said Seidler. ‘I want to defy gravity as Nervi did, while creating something in three dimensions that is poetic and beautiful.’

Courtesy of View Retreats
Courtesy of View Retreats

Outside there are a pair of expansive viewing decks offering views down into the ravine, and sculpture-filled gardens that lead to a central swimming pool cut into the rock.

Best of all is the location – set amongst 150 acres of natural bush with 2km of river, the house is surrounded by nature, with wombats, kangaroos, platypus, koalas, and birdlife in the near vicinity.

See more of our top holiday homes from 2016

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