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Architect Harry Seidler dies -

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(generated from captions) able to go out without fear. Darren didn't believe in fear. A message

there that's become a constant

refrain, it seems. Mary Gearin with that report. He's been called Australia's best-known architect. Certainly, he's been the most controversial. Over more than 50, Harry Seidler produced buildings - both public and private - that often delighted and occasionally horrified his collegues and the public. This visionary architect may have learned his profession in the United States, but he perfected his vision in Australia. Harry Seidler died today, aged 82.

His buildings though will not let him be forgotten. Mark Bannerman reports.

Travel to any city in Australia,

look at any skyline and the vision

of Harry Seidler will be there.

The important thing is not so much

to build only one building, but the

totality of the environment.

totality of the environment. Admired by many, publicly criticised by

others, he's always been an

architect whose work has demanded

attention. Seidler's contribution

has been extensive. It's been

phenomenal. It has changed the

phenomenal. It has changed the face of Australian architecture. On

matters of art, architecture,

landscaping, town planning, all

those things, Harry had views. And

his views were invariably right and

there was no way in the world you

were going to shift him from them.

If Harry Seidler leaves a gigantic

legacy in Australia it's all the

more remarkable when you realise it

may never have happened. Born into

aye comfortable Jewish family in

Austria in 1934 he emight have

become a victim of the Nazi

jackboot. He did not. Later he

recalled the arrival of the Germans

with the eye of a future architect.

Some people have said the graphics

were great, but the horror of it

were great, but the horror of it all escaped me totally. I had no idea.

Having finally escaped to America,

working with the best in his

profession, there he might have

stayed. But a request from his

parents living in Australia changed

all that. A letter finally got from

my mother who said, "We don't want

to just have you come and visit, we

want you to commission you to

want you to commission you to design us a house. " Well that did it.

When you're 25 years old and you

have a captive client like a mother

on the horizon, then that makes all

the difference. The dwelling he

built was this one, Rose Seidler

House in the northern suburbs of

Sydney. Double brick and small

windows were out, sandstone and

glass was letting light in. It set

off a death charge in architectural

circles. Was it about that

building? The Rose Seidler House

celebrated a significant seismic

shift in architecture design for

residential buildings. It was that

big snmpbility it was, because

within about a decade the Rose

Seidler House challenged

architectural thinking in this

country. You can't be in the

country. You can't be in the Seidler house without constant reference to

the sky or the trees around it.

the sky or the trees around it. You can't be in there without enjoying

the landscape of Australia. Through

the landscape of Australia. Through the '50s and the '60s more homes

with the Seidler touch would follow

but the full impact of this man's

architectural vision would not be

fully felt until the public

experienced his major works.

Australia Square and the M LC

Australia Square and the M LC Square wowed the industry. If you were a

builder or an engineer you would

builder or an engineer you would get off on the genius, but for the rest

of us it's to do with the

combination of brilliance of the

ceiling, the tapestries in the

foyer, the finishes. Graham Yarn

runs his own business now but 30

years ago he had the good fortune

years ago he had the good fortune to work as an apprentice architect to

Harry Seidler. Working with him

wasn't just interesting, he says,

wasn't just interesting, he says, it was simply inspiring. He wanted to

lift the spirits, I think he wanted

to raise the bar of experiences for

people. If raising the bar, though,

was his goal, something else

happened when he built Blues Point

on Sydney Harbour. Built after a

long battle with council, it became

his most criticised building.

I think his work is a paradigm

examples of a very bad idea. That

is my opinion. I've never taken

very much to the school of

architecture that he represents.

Cartoonist Patrick Cook attacked

Seidler's work in this cartoon.

Seidler sued and lost. Still, the

debate about the tower goes on and

on. I'm not a fan of Blues Point in

visual terms, no. The trouble with

the Blues Point for me is that I

admire it hugely because of the

intelligence with which he made the

design. I know a lot of people say

nasty things about Blues Point.

nasty things about Blues Point. The fact is I think it's one of my best

buildings. Blues Point was not the

only time Seidler had a public

argument about his designs. Given

his desire to create a new

architecture reflecting Australia,

he often found himself at odds with

the local councils, meeting them in

court. In short, he developed a

reputation for litigation and

arrogance. He was feisty in his

belief, but he wasn't litigious.

belief, but he wasn't litigious. He didn't go out and have a court case

for the hell of it. Court cases or

not, Harry Seidler would not be

stopped. As cities grew, so did

stopped. As cities grew, so did his vision. In Perth, in Brisbane, and

in Melbourne. The boxes of the

in Melbourne. The boxes of the '50s and the '60s may have given way to

waves and curves but for those who

studied his work, there was always

an originality to envy. I think it

was an eternal pursuit of a

perfection, in the full knowledge

that perfection was always going to

be over the horizon. What people

reject is that which is just

expediency, is just building, which

is lacking in skill - that they

is lacking in skill - that they will reject and unfortunately, so much

reject and unfortunately, so much of our world is just expedient

building, it's not architecture.