Architectural model, ‘Darling Harbour casino competition

Made 1986

The Harry Seidler entry to the Darling Harbour Casino Competition is significant beyond its value as an artefact of Seidler’s architecture.

Although largely forgotten, the casino competition was an essential element of NSW Premier Neville Wran’s plans for the redevelopment of the Darling Harbour precinct. The casino and hotel were to create much of the financial basis for the new urban park and its cultural, retail and lifestyle elements. Its demise did not halt the new development but signif...


Architectural model,'Darling Harbour Hotel Casino Competition', plastic/paper, designed by Harry Seidler and Associates, made by Arcmod Models Pty Ltd, Sydney, 1986.

Model of Casino building located within complex of terraces and other buildings on its harbour site.


415 mm
750 mm


Designed by Harry Seidler and Associates, Sydney, 1986. Not built.
The design was in response to the NSW State Government's invitation calling for casino proposals on publicly owned land. It was prepared for the New York entrepreneur Donald Trump and local developer Lend Lease.
From 'Harry Seidler' by Kenneth Frampton and Philip Drew, Thames and Hudson, 1992

Made by Bob Brown of Arcmod Models Pty Ltd, Winston Hills, Sydney.

Harry Seidler (1923-2006) was born in Vienna and fled Nazism via England, Canada and the USA where at Harvard University he was a student of Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. Seidler visited Sydney in 1948 to design a home for his parents. His intended return to the USA was halted by numerous requests to design houses similar to Rose Seidler house.

Seidler was one of a generation of new arrivals who internationalised an Anglophile outpost. Another was Dutch engineer Dick Dusseldorp who engaged Seidler to design numerous projects for his Lend Lease construction company. Among these were sophisticated but affordable apartment blocks which lent glamour and liveability to inner city living. Others included major urban redevelopments designed around office towers; Australian Square was the first of these. Seidler also found success internationally, his Australian Embassy in Paris the best-known of several off-shore commissions.

No architect has had a greater impact on Sydney through both his own work and its influence on others. Although Harry Seidler's Modernism was shaped by Europe and the US, Sydney also formed his work and his social presence. Often caricatured as a doctrinaire modernist, Seidler tailored most of his work to Sydney’s climate and topography. Some of his best buildings – Blues Point Tower, Australia Square to name but two - were also his most controversial. As a polemicist, Seidler was less compromising but Sydney’s urban culture benefited from his scorn of the second-rate in design and decision-making. His donation of this model, among others, was typical of his generosity to the Powerhouse and the arts community.

In addition to numerous awards received locally, such as the Royal Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medal, in 1996 Seidler was the recipient of the Royal Institute of British Architects Gold Medal.

Cite this Object

Architectural model, 'Darling Harbour casino competition 2016, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 19 November 2017, <>
{{cite web |url= |title=Architectural model, 'Darling Harbour casino competition |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=19 November 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
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