chapter  11
23 Pages

Romaldo Giurgola

The Reluctant Master
ByJaimini Mehta

Philadelphia in the 1960s was an exciting place to be for a young architect. The city of Philadelphia itself had also had a strong architectural and urban planning tradition. This chapter explores the evolving career of Romaldo Giurgola and interrogates his work, which constituted the clearest challenge to modernist conventions. The relationship between the master and the disciple revolves around three broad themes: sense of history, sense of the city and secular spirituality of place. These three themes also provide a framework within which to interrogate the work of Aldo Giurgola. Fragmentation of the integrated urban fabric into clearly defined zones of activities such as residential, commercial, recreational and so on, and reducing the urban form into the binary of isolated towers and open space, had deprived the post-war cities of their identity and placeness. All three Giurgola projects—Boston City Hall, the International House and the AIA Headquarters—were contemporary to these works of Kahn.