Giurgola was born in Rome in 1920. After service in the Italian armed forces during World War II, he was educated at the Sapienza University of Rome. He received a master's degree in architecture from Columbia University, and has been a partner in Philadelphia firm Mitchell/Giurgola Architects since 1958. He has been a professor at Cornell and at the University of Pennsylvania, then at Columbia, before becoming chair of the Columbia architectural department in 1966. He is presently Ware Professor Emeritus of Architecture at Columbia. He was awarded the AIA Gold Medal in 1982.
The first important building of Mitchell/Giurgola was the Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center (1957) for the US National Park Service, a building that brought them national attention for three reasons. It was one of the first NPS visitors' centers that became a building type unto itself. The design was consonant with a certain aesthetic preoccupation with aviation, flight, technology and space travel of the time, the same Zeitgeist that produced Saarinen's TWA Terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport. And it was seen as a break with strict modernist tenets in its respect for the site and the program, as opposed to what Giurgola called "the imposition of abstract forms".
In Philadelphia, Giurgola had formed a relationship with Louis Kahn, who held similar views. In April 1961 the architectural critic Jan Rowan grouped Giurgola, Kahn, Robert Venturi, George Qualls, Robert Geddes and others into "The Philadelphia School". Giurgola has published several books on Kahn's work and philosophy.
He was invited to join the panel of judges for the 1980 international competition for the landmark Australian Parliament House in Canberra. Instead, he preferred to be an entrant himself. After winning the competition, Giurgola moved to Australia and practises there. He later adopted Australian citizenship.
A towering legacy; Kenneth Dayton's influence on Twin Cities architecture was as vast as the projects he helped shape, including Orchestra Hall and the IDS building.(ENTERTAINMENT)
Aug 10, 2003; Byline: Linda Mack; Staff Writer No building bears Kenneth Dayton's name. But the department-store executive and philanthropist,...