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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Aldo Giurgola, 2005

Mandy Martin

ochre, pigment and oil on canvas (triptych) (overall: 150.0 cm x 300.0 cm)

Romaldo Giurgola AO (1920–2016), architect, was a founding partner of the firm that won the international design competition for Australia’s New Parliament House in 1980. Giurgola studied in his native Italy before moving to the USA where he held academic positions at Cornell and Columbia universities, and co-founded Mitchell/Giurgola Architects in Philadelphia. By the early 1960s his style, mixing modernist and inclusive flavours, saw him identified as a key member of the ‘Philadelphia School’. He was awarded the Gold Medal of the American Society of Architects in 1982, while work on New Parliament House was under way. In 1988 Aldo Giurgola settled in Canberra. He designed a tiny Catholic church in the suburb of Charnwood and a home for himself at Lake Bathurst, near Goulburn; both are represented in Martin’s painting. Giurgola is depicted by the pool in the Members’ Hall in the centre of Parliament House. The diagonal shaft of light echoes that in Tom Roberts’s ‘big picture’ of the opening of the First Parliament in 1901.

Commissioned by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects in 2005, in recognition of Giurgola’s life-long contribution to architecture and funded by voluntary donations from members and friends of the architectural profession.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects 2005

Accession number: 2005.121.a-c

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Mandy Martin (age 53 in 2005)

Romaldo Giurgola AO (age 85 in 2005)

Subject professions

Architecture, design and fashion

Related information

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On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Aldo Giurgola by Mandy Martin video: 2 minutes
Aldo Giurgola by Mandy Martin video: 2 minutes
Aldo Giurgola by Mandy Martin video: 2 minutes
Aldo Giurgola by Mandy Martin video: 2 minutes

Aldo Giurgola

by Mandy Martin

Portrait story

Romaldo Giurgola talks about his portrait and the relationship between architecture and landscape.

Aldo Giurgola, 2005 Mandy Martin
Aldo Giurgola, 2005 Mandy Martin
Aldo Giurgola, 2005 Mandy Martin
Aldo Giurgola, 2005 Mandy Martin

A Life in Service

Magazine article by Mandy Martin, 2005

Artist Mandy Martin describes the creation of her portrait of Aldo Giurgola, principal architect of Australia's Parliament House.

The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

The Gallery

Explore portraiture and come face to face with Australian identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.