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Aldo Giurgola
, 2005

by Mandy Martin

ochre, pigment and oil on canvas (150.0 x 300.0 cm)

Romaldo Giurgola AO (1920–2016), architect, was a founding partner of the firm that won the international design competition for Australia’s New Parliament House in 1980. Giurgola studied in his native Italy before moving to the USA where he held academic positions at Cornell and Columbia universities, and co-founded Mitchell/Giurgola Architects in Philadelphia. By the early 1960s his style, mixing modernist and inclusive flavours, saw him identified as a key member of the ‘Philadelphia School’. He was awarded the Gold Medal of the American Society of Architects in 1982, while work on New Parliament House was under way. In 1988 Aldo Giurgola settled in Canberra. He designed a tiny Catholic church in the suburb of Charnwood and a home for himself at Lake Bathurst, near Goulburn; both are represented in Martin’s painting. Giurgola is depicted by the pool in the Members’ Hall in the centre of Parliament House. The diagonal shaft of light echoes that in Tom Roberts’s ‘big picture’ of the opening of the First Parliament in 1901.

Commissioned by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects in 2005, in recognition of Giurgola’s life-long contribution to architecture and funded by voluntary donations from members and friends of the architectural profession.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects 2005
Accession number: 2005.121.a-c