Thredbo Ski Lodge, Harry Seidler, Thredbo, New South Wales (AU), 1962. From the Atlas of Mid-Century Modern Houses - Photo Max Dupain © Penelope Seidler

Mid-Century Modern World: Thredbo Ski Lodge

Take a tour with the Atlas of Mid-Century Modern Houses. First stop: a ski-lodge in New South Wales

Our new book, the Atlas of Mid-Century Modern Houses, is a groundbreaking global survey of the finest mid-20th-century homes – all built in one of the most popular architectural styles of our time.

Those buildings are dotted around the world, thanks to the incredible spread of this architectural style. While many of the key elements of Modernist architecture were formulated during the earlier half of the 20th century, the travel and communications technology of the post-war period truly drove the movement forward, enabling this style of domestic building to spring up across the world.

The standard-bearers of the movement were globe-trotting architects such as Harry Seidler, a Zelig-like character, who became the godfather of Australian Modernism.

 "An Austrian émigré, Seidler left his homeland in the Thirties and in 1945-46 studied with Walter Gropius.” with Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer at Harvard before spending time with Oscar Niemeyer in Brazil,” writes Dominic Bradbury in our book. ”Arriving in Australia, Seidler hit the ground running, designing a series of extraordinary houses and quickly establishing himself as one of the country’s most original architectural voices. He helped to bring mid-century Modern style to the region – most famously in the house that he built for his parents near Sydney in 1950, which remains an Australian icon.”

However, this isn’t the only iconic Aussie home by Seidler. Our book also features Thredbo Ski Lodge in New South Wales, a holiday home that echoes European, Alpine structures, while remaining truly modern.

“The ski resort of Thredbo came of age during the late Fifties and Sixties,” explains our new book. “Situated in New South Wales’ Snowy Mountains, it was developed by the Lend Lease Corporation from 1957 onwards and is now one of the region’s most popular alpine resorts, with over a dozen lifts and more than fifty runs. Seidler – a keen skier himself – was asked to design a ski lodge by Dick Dusseldorp, the head of Lend Lease at the time. The lodge was positioned on a hillside looking across to the ski slopes, and alongside a mountain creek. Sitting on a stone-walled base level, the rest of the timber-framed house cantilevers outwards by degrees as it reaches storeys two and three.


Atlas of Mid-Century Modern Houses
Atlas of Mid-Century Modern Houses

“The ground floor is devoted to the entrance, stairwell and utility spaces, including a boot room, with the surrounding terrace sheltered by the projecting floors above. Mid-level holds the bedrooms, with balconies to two sides of the building. The upper level hosts the main living spaces, which have the best views but also flow out to the uppermost balcony, supported by five triangular wooden trusses thrusting outwards into the void. Seidler’s ski lodge references many ideas commonly seen in traditional mountain chalets but gives them a distinctly modern twist.”

To see more enviable mid-century modern architecture from around the globe, order a copy of the Atlas of Mid-Century Modern Houses here. A fascinating collection of more than 400 of the world's most glamorous homes from more than 290 architects, the Atlas of Mid-Century Modern Houses showcases work by such icons as Marcel Breuer, Richard Neutra, Alvar Aalto, and Oscar Niemeyer alongside extraordinary but virtually unknown houses in Australia, Africa, and Asia. A thoroughly researched, comprehensive appraisal, this book is a must-have for all design aficionados, Mid-Century Modern collectors, and readers looking for inspiration for their own homes. Find out more here.