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So where am I?

Grosvenor Place
225 George Street
Sydney, NSW

Grosvenor Place is worth far more attention than its name attracts; covering an entire
block bounded by the city streets of George, Grosvenor, Harrington and Essex, this
building certainly makes it mark in size. One of Australiaʼs highest profile towers,
Grosvenor Place is one of a series of buildings that the renown Australian architect and a
man far ahead of his time, Harry Seidler designed and erected. Seidler was considered a
Modernist with an attitude towards designing that could only be matched by few
International Architects; Le Corbusier, being one of such who followed a similar style.
However it is correct to say his buildings were not unique; they were highly thought-out,
monumental structures that harnessed the landscape within its strong grasp and stood out
among the rest.

Completed in 1988, and recently refurbished in 2009 with several new dazzling interior
alterations, Grosvenor Place was not the first of its kind. Australia Square, a few blocks
down the road on George Street was one of the first modern international styled office
towers in Australia designed by leading architect, Harry Seidler. With finished construction
dating 1967, Australia Square spawned the creation of several alike, yet highly individual
architectural creations by Harry Seidler throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Seidler erected
this series, spanning across Australia from Perth, to Melbourne, to Sydney; the QV1 Tower
and the Shell Head-quarters are recognisable distinctly as adhering Harry’s strict
modernist style.

This series of buildings, particularly concerning the design of Grosvenor Place, established
new principles in design and construction through the distinctive geometrical form and the
creation of large public open spaces at ground level. These buildings were designed to be
looked at from after, however step out onto the street level and wind your way through to
the concrete haven that is the Grosvenor Place courtyard, you will find yourself in a
completely different environment. Harry Seidler’s modernist philosophy was in moulding
incredible amounts of fabricated concrete and creating these huge structural forms that
pierced the city skyline. As they wound down to the base of the building the structural
elements of the building began to fray and spread out into the surrounding ground, as if a
tree was spreading its roots. It is Seidler’s conjunction of man made elements with a
natural environment that make his works truly phenomenal.

Standing in the courtyard of Grosvenor Place, you wonder how close to the city you really
are. The harsh, man-made concrete walls that surround you ironically act as a haven from
the chaotic nature of George Street. Continuous curves and geometrical lines collide to
create Seidler’s concrete jungle. The foyer area of the building is expansive and open;
glass walls allow you to feel almost inside the building while looking at it from afar. Frank
Stella, a key influence in Seidler’s geometrical structures; his works crawl the foyer walls in
such a manner that evokes a bursting shot of colour through this archaically grey structure.

Grosvenor Place is an elegant building which has maintained its aesthetic appeal and is
still regarded as a landmark building in Sydney and an icon of Australian architecture.
Harry Seidler, the architect has been revered for his outstanding talent in creating such
monumental structures that not only house offices, but are there for you to look at, to
touch, feel, taste; all your senses are envigorated when you walk into and surround
yourself in one of Seidler’s buldings.

So now you know where you are, it’s time to let your eyes do the walking.