Eduardo Catalano Slides 1954-2002

Creator
Catalano, Eduardo, 1917-2010
Size
0.14 linear feet (1 slide box)
Call number
MC 00477
Access to materials

Collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice.

The Eduardo Catalano Slides include slides of the interior and exterior views of the Eduardo Catalano house in Raleigh, North Carolina, as well as views of the home after it was demolished in 2001. The collection also includes slides of the Floralis Genérica sculpture in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Eduardo Catalano house slides are undated. The slides of the Floralis Genérica are dated in 2002.

Eduardo Fernando Catalano (1917-2010) was a well-known modernist architect and Professor of Architecture at the School of Design at North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering (later North Carolina State University) from 1951 to 1956. Catalano was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on December 19, 1917. He attended the Universidad de Buenos Aires and graduated in 1940 with an Architect's Diploma and honors for his coursework. Having received scholarships to pursue studies in the United States, Catalano relocated to attend the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University. He graduated in 1944 and 1945 respectively. At Harvard, Catalano studied under two masters of modernist architecture, Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. After graduation, Catalano taught at the Architectural Association in London from 1945 until 1951, when he was recruited by Henry Kamphoefner to relocate to the School of Design at North Carolina State College. Catalano is perhaps best known for his work with warped surfaces and hyperbolic paraboloids.

Biographical/historical note

Eduardo Fernando Catalano (1917-2010) was a well-known modernist architect and Professor of Architecture at the School of Design at North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering (later North Carolina State University) from 1951 to 1956. Catalano was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on December 19, 1917. He attended the Universidad de Buenos Aires and graduated in 1940 with an Architect's Diploma and honors for his coursework. Having received scholarships to pursue studies in the United States, Catalano relocated to attend the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University. He graduated in 1944 and 1945 respectively. At Harvard, Catalano studied under two masters of modernist architecture, Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. After graduation, Catalano taught at the Architectural Association in London from 1945 until 1951, when he was recruited by Henry Kamphoefner to relocate to the School of Design at North Carolina State College.

Catalano is perhaps best known for his work with warped surfaces and hyperbolic paraboloids. It was during his time in Raleigh that Catalano became the famed architect of the Catalano House, originally at 1467 Caminos Drive (now Catalano Drive). Built in 1954 as his personal residence, and destroyed in 2001 after falling into disrepair, this three-bedroom house featured a 4,000 square foot hyperbolic paraboloid roof built of wood only 2.5" thick. The roof was warped into two structural curves similar to the shape of a shoehorn. Sheltered beneath the double-twisted roof was a square interior enclosed entirely in glass. The undulation of the roof provided openness in some areas and privacy and seclusion in others. The $40,000 home was also known as the Raleigh House, the Ezra Meir House, and because of its unique shape it was even referred to as the Potato Chip House and the Batwing House. The home was highly publicized and, in 1956, House and Home magazine named it the “House of the Decade.” Catalano even received high praise from Frank Lloyd Wright for the home’s design. As with most modernist houses in Raleigh, it was built by Frank Walser. This house is not to be confused with the Eduardo Catalano House in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Catalano left Raleigh in 1956 to accept a teaching position at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He retired from teaching in 1977 to pursue other life pleasures, and received a certificate of recognition from MIT for his more than twenty years of service. In addition to emeritus professor of architecture at MIT, Catalano was also an honorary professor at his alma mater, the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina. Catalano retired from architecture in 1995 upon closing his Cambridge, Massachusetts, practice.

In 2002, he briefly came out of retirement to create one of his best known design endeavors in Argentina: the Floralis Genérica. Erected in the Plaza de las Naciones Unidas in Buenos Aires, this massive steel and aluminum flower sculpture reaches over seventy feet high. The six petals were designed with a system of motors to open and close depending on the time of day.

In 2007, Catalano received an honorary doctorate from North Carolina State University in a special presentation at Catalano's home in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Dean Marvin Malecha attended. Catalano passed away on January 28, 2010, in Cambridge.

Scope/content

The Eduardo Catalano Slides include slides of the interior and exterior views of the Eduardo Catalano house in Raleigh, North Carolina, as well as views of the home after it was demolished in 2001. The collection also includes slides of the Floralis Genérica sculpture in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Eduardo Catalano house slides are undated. The slides of the Floralis Genérica are dated in 2002.

Arrangement

Collection arranged in order received.

Use of these materials

The nature of the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NCSU Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

This collection may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which North Carolina State University assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Eduardo Catalano Slides, MC 00477, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Source of acquisition

Gift of George Smart and the Triangle Modernist Archives, Inc., 2013 (Accession 2013.0067).

Processing information

Processed by: Vivian Phinizy, 2013 April; Finding aid created by: Vivian Phinizy, 2013 April.

Access to the collection

Collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice.

For more information contact us via mail, phone, or our web form.

Mailing address:
Special Collections Research Center
Box 7111
Raleigh, NC, 27695-7111

Phone: (919) 515-2273

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Eduardo Catalano Slides, MC 00477, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Use of these materials

The nature of the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NCSU Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

This collection may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which North Carolina State University assumes no responsibility.