Context - Winter 2015 - (Page 12)

Inhabited Architecture: Daniel Kelley romaldo giurgola Romaldo Giurgola, FAIA, who has recently turned 95 and has lived in Australia for the last 33 years, was a key figure in the story of Philadelphia's mid-century architecture. His notable buildings include the Penn Mutual Insurance Company on Independence Square, the United Fund headquarters on the Parkway, the (now demolished) Liberty Bell Pavilion on Independence Mall, and the Parliament House in Canberra, Australia. A graduate of the Sapienza University of Rome and Columbia, he came to Philadelphia in 1954 to teach at Penn, where, together with the older Louis Kahn and younger Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, he helped to establish what Jan Rowan would call the "Philadelphia School." But while it was widely recognized that ideas from Philadelphia helped to transform the practice of modern architecture in the 1950s-1970s, these Philadelphians shared only a few general philosophical principles and a handful of stylistic mannerisms. Daniel Kelley, FAIA, came to work with Mitchell/Giurgola in 1980 and is the senior principal at MGA Partners, one of several successor firms. In a wide-ranging interview with David Brownlee in September, he discussed the work of Aldo Giurgola and helped to map the currents of architectural thinking and practice in Philadelphia at that time. DB: When did you first hear of Giurgola, and what did you hear? DK: By 1973, while I was studying at Georgia Tech, I was aware of Kahn's and Giurgola's works. From the designs I saw published, it seemed that these men were saying something different about contemporary architecture that was outside of doctrinaire modernism. I imagined that there might be a new relevance, perhaps something more essential, about the work being done in Philadelphia instead of New York or elsewhere. DB: I know you continued your education with an MArch at Harvard, and in 1980 you came to Philadelphia to join your wife, who was studying at the Wharton School. Kahn had died in 1974, leaving Venturi/Scott Brown and Mitchell/Giurgola at the head of your list of top-tier architects. How did you choose? Mitchell/giurgola: united Way headquarters, completed 1971 12 WINTER 2016 | context | AIA Philadelphia DK: I was a young man who liked to make things, and I had the impression that the Mitchell/Giurgola firm, while having thoughtful and artistic intentions for everything they touched, emphasized architecture as their medium. I was more attracted to that than to the Venturi firm, where I was less likely to appreciate the narratives that accompanied their work. It was thrilling to interview at Mitchell/Giurgola on the 26th floor of PSFS - and I immediately saw them as a cohesive studio that produced sophisticated designs with an integrity that I admired. Mga PartnerS ON ROMALDO GIURGOLA AND THE PHILADELPHIA SCHOOL

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Context - Winter 2015

Editor’s Letter
Community
Up Close
Philadelphia’s Everyday Modernism
Truly and Unobtrusively Modern: Chestnut Hill Architecture of the Twentieth Century
Rehabilitating Richards
2015 Design Awards
Index to Advertisers

Context - Winter 2015

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