In 1954 Sydney hosted one of the first national conferences of the Australian Institute of Architects. The featured guest was modernism founding father Walter Gropius. His former student Harry Seidler designed the Architectural and Building Exhibition (sponsored by the Australian Women's Weekly) and mounted at Sydney Town Hall to coincide with the conference.
The exhibition was sponsored by the Australian Women's Weekly, and its centrepiece was Seidler's House of the Future, a steel home prefabricated at Sydney's Armco factory. Restricted to one-bedroom size by the space available in the exhibition, the house was notable for its modular kitchen and bathroom units, as well as its 'outstanding feature … the entire northern wall of glass in fixed and in sliding frames … All rooms, including the kitchen, face this wall'. Press coverage of the 'revolutionary' house was sympathetic, and visitors queued to see it.
More than an advertisement for contemporary design, the house was promoted as an answer to the housing shortage by demonstrating the potential of prefabrication: 'The house was planned by architect Harry Seidler for streamline production as a solution to the housing problem. Mr Seidler claims that the present housing dilemma is due to cumbersome handicraft methods and wasteful man-hours involved in present day building'.
Charles Pickett, Curator, 1992