Eduardo Catalano was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He attended the University of Buenos Aires and took graduate courses at the University of Pennsylvania before earning a Master’s degree in Architecture from Harvard University in 1946. From 1941 to 1950 he was active as an architect and teacher in Argentina. He taught for a year in the architecture school of the Architectural Association in London, and then relocated to the School of Design in Raleigh, North Carolina.
He pioneered the development of shell structures and the hyperbolic paraboloid, first applied to his own home built in Raleigh in 1954 and since destroyed. From North Carolina, he came to MIT, where he was a professor of architecture from 1956 until his retirement in 1977. Catalano produced designs for landmark buildings and landscapes, and created a visual language called “stereo-images.” His later works investigated glass as a structural material.
His buildings include the Stratton Student Center, Eastgate Married Students Housing, and the Hermann Building for MIT; U.S. embassies in Buenos Aires and Pretoria, South Africa; the Juilliard School of Music at Lincoln Center, New York (with Pietro Belluschi); an urban proposal for Naples, Italy; and the public sculpture Floralis Genérica by the National Museum of Fine Arts, Buenos Aires. Among his awards are prizes in the General Motors and Architectural Forum Competition; the I.F.T. Experimental Theatre competition in Buenos Aires; and plans for his National Peace Garden project for Washington, D.C. He closed his architectural practice in 1995, but continued to write and design.