Adrian and Alex Catalano
Eduardo Catalano was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and came to the United States on scholarships to the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University. Catalano taught at the Architectural Association in London until 1951 before relocating back to the United States in Raleigh, NC. Dean Emeritus Henry Kamphoefner recruited Catalano as a Professor of Architecture at the then School of Design in the 1950s.
During his five-year tenure at NC State, Catalano built and constructed his revolutionary house built off Ridge Road on the west side of Raleigh. Frank Lloyd Wright praised the house, and House and Home magazine would later name his home “House of the Decade.” Life magazine would feature it prominently in a special 1957 issue devoted to the marvels of design and technology that would shape the world of tomorrow.
After leaving Raleigh in 1956, Catalano taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1956-1977) and ran a private practice until retiring in 1995. Notable works of Catalano’s architecture in the United States and abroad include the Student Center at MIT, United States embassies in Buenos Aires and Pretoria (South Africa), the Governmental Center in Greensboro NC, the Huilliard School of Music in New York City in collaboration with Pietro Belluschi, and forty institutional buildings. Catalano was a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of Buenos Aires and of the National Academy of Fine Arts in Argentina. He is the author of six books on architecture and has recieved four first prizes in national architectural competitions. In 1989 Catalano won the first prize in an international competition in which 930 architects and planners submitted designs for a National Peace Garden in Washington D.C. Catalano’s prize-winning plan, which unfortunately was never built, was for a garden in the shape of an olive branch on a 12-acre site of Federal land called Hains Point in East Potamac Park, two miles south of the mall. -In 2002, Catalano came out of retirement to design the “Florais Generica” sculpture in Buenos Aires, a gigantic metal flower with six motorized 20-meter-high petals that open and close. On January 28, 2010, Catalano passed away.
Eduardo Catalano served as one of the first faculty members of the newly established School of Design from 1951-1956. Catalano still has an impact on students studying architecture at the College of Design today. After the death of College of Design Professor Robert Burns, a former employee and student of Catalano’s, his family established The Robert P. Burns Lectures and Seminars on Structural Innovations Endowment. This brought in visiting experts to lecture and conduct seminars on structural innovations in architecture. Catalano was awarded an honorary doctorate by NC State University in 2007.