2 September 1920|
Rome (or Galatina), Italy
|Died||16 May 2016
|Alma mater||Sapienza University of Rome, Columbia University|
|Awards||RAIA Gold Medal (1988)
Officer of the Order of Australia (1989 )
Australian Centenary Medal (2001)
Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Buildings (2004)
|Buildings||Parliament House in Canberra|
Romaldo "Aldo" Giurgola AO (2 September 1920 – 16 May 2016) was an Italian academic, architect, professor, and author. Giurgola was born in Rome, in 1920. After service in the Italian armed forces during World War II, he was educated at the Sapienza University of Rome. He studied architecture at the University of Rome, completing the equivalent of a B.Arch. with honors in 1949. That same year, he moved to the United States and received a master's degree in architecture from Columbia University. He moved to Canberra, Australia, in the 1980s. He was a partner in the Philadelphia firm Mitchell/Giurgola Architects from 1958 until his death in 2016.
Giurgola was a professor at Cornell and at the University of Pennsylvania, then at Columbia, before becoming chair of the Columbia architectural department in 1966. He was later the Ware Professor Emeritus of Architecture at Columbia. He was awarded the AIA Gold Medal in 1982.
The first important building of Mitchell/Giurgola was the Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center (1957) for the US National Park Service, a building that brought them national attention for three reasons. It was one of the first NPS visitors' centers that became a building type unto itself. The design was consonant with a certain aesthetic preoccupation with aviation, flight, technology and space travel of the time, the same zeitgeist that produced Saarinen's TWA Terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport. It was seen as a break with strict modernist tenets in its respect for the site and the program, as opposed to what Giurgola called "the imposition of abstract forms".
In Philadelphia, Giurgola had formed a relationship with Louis Kahn, who held similar views. In April 1961 the architectural critic Jan Rowan grouped Giurgola, Kahn, Robert Venturi, George Qualls, Robert Geddes and others, into "The Philadelphia School". Giurgola published several books on Kahn's work and philosophy.
Parliament House competition
Giurgola was invited to join the panel of judges for the 1980 international competition for the landmark Australian Parliament House in Canberra. Instead, he chose to enter the competition. After winning, Giurgola moved to Australia and practiced there. He adopted Australian citizenship in January 2000.
Honours and awards
In 1982 he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate member, and became a full Academician in 1994.
In January 1989 he was appointed an Honorary Officer of the Order of Australia, "for service to architecture, particularly the new Parliament House, Canberra". The award became substantive when he adopted Australian citizenship in 2000.
In 2001, he was awarded the Australian Centenary Medal, "for service as Principal Architect of the new and permanent Parliament House".
In 2004 his St Patrick's Cathedral, Parramatta, won him Australia's highest architectural award, the RAIA's Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Buildings, which he was first awarded in 1989 for the Parliament House.
- Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina (1958–60).
- Additions to University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1960–73).
- Kenneth and Judy Dayton Residence, Wayzata, Minnesota (1970). Demolished 2016.
- United Fund Headquarters Building, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1971).
- Boston Public Library, South End Branch (1971).
- INA Tower, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1971–75).
- Penn Mutual Tower, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1971–75).
- Columbus East High School, Columbus, Indiana (1972).
- Lang Music Building, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania (1973).
- Casa Thomas Jefferson, Brasília, Brazil (1974).
- Liberty Bell Pavilion, Independence National Historical Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1974–75, demolished 2006).
- Tredyffrin Public Library, Strafford, Pennsylvania (1976).
- Sherman Fairchild Center for the Life Sciences, Columbia University, New York City (1977).
- Parliament House, Canberra, Australia (1981–1988).
- St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, Charnwood, Australian Capital Territory, (1989).
- Layfayette Place (now Swissotel), Boston, Massachusetts (1985).
- Addition to St Patrick's Cathedral, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia (2003).
Penn Mutual Tower (1971–75), opposite Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Liberty Bell Center (1974–75, demolished 2006), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
St Patrick's Cathedral, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia (2003 addition, right).
- The New York Times, 17 May 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016
- Bernstein, Fred A. (27 May 2016). "Romaldo Giurgola, 95, an Influential Architect". New York Times. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
- Burgess, Katie; Pryor, Sally (16 May 2016). "Parliament House architect Romaldo Giurgiola dies". Canberra Times. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
- Tony Stephens, Like his work, he'll blend into the landscape, Sydney Morning Herald, 3 July 1999
- The unsung hero of the hill, Steve Meacham, Sydney Morning Herald, 16 April 2005
- *ACSA Archives, Distinguished Professor Award winners.
- It's an Honour: Hon AO
- It's an Honour: Centenary Medal
- "Romaldo Giurgola". architecturemedia. Feb 2006. Retrieved 2010-03-19.
- "Boston Public Library, South End Branch, Drawings, Photos, Papers, etc.". American Architects and Buildings. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
- Pioneer priest vows to die with his boots on, Graham Downie, Canberra Times, 4 August 2012, accessed 13 August 2012
Media related to Romaldo Giurgola at Wikimedia Commons