Roland Catalani, Principal at Fender Katsalidis for 25 years, has recently passed away.
Catalani, retiring at the end of 2019, was a signficiant member of the practice and wider architectural community.
Projects Roland has worked on at Fender Katsalidis include; Levantine Hill Estate (Yarra Valley), Buxton Contemporary (Melbourne), Merdeka 118 (Malaysia - currently under construction and set to become the world's second tallest building), Midtown Centre (Brisbane), Adelaide Advertiser and Bendigo Art Gallery.
He also worked on the Princess Theatre renovation with Karl Fender prior to Fender Katsalidis forming.
Catalani has been friends with Karl Fender for 55 years, meeting in 1966 at RMIT University where they also later worked together in Bangkok. Catalani's death marks the end of one of the longest partnerships in Australian architecture.
According to Fender and Catalani, working as friends often made for much inspiration outside of the office with continued dialogue and feeding off each other leading to often surprising richer outcomes.
Catalani was considered calm, methodical and gifted with a strong design sense, he worked mainly on design development and schematics; although very much the old school architect, he maintained a watchful eye across all phases of the architectural process to ensure the meaning, interest and experience created in development were realised in delivery.
In his final interview with the practice earlier this year, Catalani says “Many architects of the current generation don’t necessarily understand what it’s like to travel the world to get jobs like we did in the day, and actually still do."
Karl Fender, OAM and founding partner at Fender Katsalidis says, “The architecture community has lost a significant contributor, particularly in the mentoring of emerging architects. His infectious laugh, his caring and his fierce loyalty will be greatly missed by his family and friends”.