Introducing the Eduardo Catalano Papers

Printing plate of Catalano's urban design plan for Quartieri Spagnoli in Naples, Italy

Printing plate of Catalano's urban design plan for Quartieri Spagnoli in Naples, Italy

The Eduardo Catalano Papers, 1940-2017, are now processed and available for research in the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC).

Eduardo Fernando Catalano was a well-known modernist architect and professor of architecture at the then School of Design (now College of Design) at North Carolina State University from 1951 to 1956. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1917, Catalano attended the Universidad de Buenos Aires and graduated with honors in 1940 with an Architect's Diploma. He then attended the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University, graduating in 1944 and 1945 respectively. It was during that time he studied under two masters of modernist architecture: Harvard’s Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. Models by Catalano of warped surfaces and paraboloid structures.

Catalano is best known for his groundbreaking work with warped surfaces and hyperbolic paraboloids. It was during his time in Raleigh that he became the famed architect of the Catalano House, originally at 1467 Caminos Drive (now Catalano Drive). 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. Built in 1954 as his personal residence, it was destroyed in 2001 after falling into disrepair. His papers contain photographs, slides, and published articles on this famed building and its demise. SCRC’s Eduardo Catalano Slides (MC 00477) is another collection boasting interior and exterior views of the home as well as views after it was demolished.

The Eduardo Catalano Papers documents many other projects designed by Catalano, such as: the 1953 Carrier Weathermaker National Prize Winning House at 1317 Westfield in Raleigh; the Guilford County-Greensboro Government Center in Greensboro; the over 70-foot high Floralis Genérica, a six-petal motorized steel and aluminum flower sculpture in Argentina; the Juilliard School of Music at NYC's Lincoln Center; two United States Embassy buildings; his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts; multiple buildings on MIT campus and many others in Massachusetts, Chicago, Argentina, Italy, and Saudi Arabia. Publications highlighting Catalano's design of the Auditorium of Buenos Aires in Argentina

Book cover of Eduardo Catalano: Buildings and Projects by Camillo Gubitosi and Alberto Izzo, 1978

In addition to photographs and slides, Catalano's papers also contain books, articles, and other writings authored by or about Catalano, and diplomas, certificates, and certifications he received during his professional and educational careers. There are a significant amount of metal printing plates of Catalano's designs used in various publications covering his work, many of which are in the collection. To see what else the Eduardo Catalano Papers contains, take a peek at the new collection guide.

Learn more about using this or any of our other archival collections on SCRC's website. You can request access to the collections, or ask questions about how to find or use materials, through our online request form.