Harry Seidler & Associates

G. Cohen House

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G. Cohen House


Harry Seidler & Associates

Designed & Built

1991 - 1994

Design Architect

Harry Seidler

Project Architect

Greg Holman


Birzulis Associates


Palm Beach, NSW 2108

Main Residence

3 Bedroom, Study, 2 Bath,
2 Car (Carport)

Self-Contained Studio

1 Bedroom, 1 Bath


Single level residence with external access to self-contained studio


© Tamara Graham



Sited on a 1,410 sq m double block, high above the hustle and bustle of Sydney’s finest beaches, is a house that holds a special place in Australia’s architectural legacy.

The G. Cohen House by Harry Seidler is the first of the wave-form houses penned by the master architect himself. The innovative form of the roof seemingly floats above the masonry superstructure.

As with all great designs in history, there is an original. We look forward to welcoming you to the G. Cohen House. ”

Modern House

The Design

Light washes across the ceiling, illuminating the singular living space which is delineated by the sculptural curved fireplace, dining on one side and sitting on the other. The kitchen is connected but out of sight behind the linear storage units of the long galley kitchen.

The soft curve of the ceiling rises from 2.4m to 3.9m, then dips to offer protection to the outdoor terrace overlooking the native garden that melds into the native Palm Beach Reserve.

The overall effect of the house is a place of serenity, perhaps even an escape for the senses. One can watch the light working its way around the house and realise that Seidler’s control of space and light is perhaps like no other. The flow of the spaces seems effortless. The textures, colours and materials work as well today by the very fact that they are timeless.

Entry is to an oversized lobby that impresses with a huge floor to ceiling picture window that draws the outside in. This transition space between living and bedrooms is also a place where guests will linger before finally having to say goodnight. The cut out of the roof above lets the northern light in and the well creates the effect of an internal garden. A reflective space, beautiful by day and illuminated at night with the stars above.

The diagonal of the external stair leading to the garden defines this beautiful indoor outdoor garden space. Again the scale is superb. Everything is in the right place, and at the right size. Not too big and yet never too small.

The overall scale of the building cannot compete with the oversized houses being built today, nor does it need to or want to. However, the success of the design was allowed for by the width of the double block, allowing the plan to extend across the top of the block, instead of tiering down the block. The house is therefore fortunate to have breadth and the design optimises the depth of the garden. A view that is shared by all main living spaces. Only one bedroom does not share the view of the garden but enjoys its own private external terrace.

The impression of space is amplified throughout the house by sightlines that extend from inside to outside – the curve of the ceiling, internal walls become external walls of the same material or contrasted.

The extended sightlines throughout the design add not only to the feeling of space but importantly to the connection to outside. The impression is subtle but highly effective.

This is the work of a great master close to the end of a career that defines Modernism in Australia. Seidler would design just four more houses, all having a wave-form design.

As with all great designs in history, there is an original. We look forward to welcoming you to the G. Cohen House.

Floor Plan


PDF floorplan →



19-21 Cynthea Road, Palm Beach NSW 2108

Main Residence

3 Bedroom, Study, 2 Bath, 2 Car (Carport)

Approx. gross internal area:

173 sq m / 1,862 sq ft

Self-contained Studio

1 Bedroom, 1 Bath

Approx. gross internal area:

44 sq m / 474 sq ft

Approx. gross land area:

1,410 sq m / 15,177 sq ft


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