Henry Kurzer (1920–1992) arrived in Australia from Poland in 1938, aged 18. He graduated in architecture from Sydney Technical College, and in the 1950s designed a number of cafe and restaurant interiors. His interior work included the design of all the fitted units, lighting features and many of the murals, which were produced by a network of European fabricators. His design of the Latin Quarter cafe and restaurant in Pitt Street, Sydney (1958), included a mural by fellow Pole Marion Pretzel and fittings and furniture made by P E Kafka Modern Exclusive Furniture and M Gerstl Cabinet Works.

In partnership with Polish architect Henry Haber from 1969, Kurzer undertook numerous projects, including the Victoria Towers apartments at 145–53 Victoria Street, Potts Point (1966–72); the Hakoah Club, Bondi (1971); the Waverley Council Chambers, Bondi Junction (1976); and numerous B’nai B’rith retirement villages and Bulkara Investments shopping villages.

Below; The Latin Quarter restaurant. Max Dupain, 1958. Max Dupain & Associates Archive: 2369, State Library of NSWKurzerLatinQuarterImage01Dupain_2369_TheLatin Quarter Feb 1958

Posted by:Rebecca Hawcroft

Researcher of architecture and design history, Rebecca curated the 2017 Museum of Sydney exhibition The Moderns: European designers in Sydney and edited the book The Other Moderns (New South Press, 2017)

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