Pier Luigi Nervi(redirected from Nervi, Pier Luigi)
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|Pier Luigi Nervi|
|Education||University of Bologna|
Nervi, Pier Luigi
See his New Structures (tr. 1963) and Aesthetics and Technology in Building (tr. 1965); study by A. L. Huxtable (1960).
Nervi, Pier Luigi(1891–1979)
Nervi, Pier Luigi
Born June 21, 1891, in Sondrio, Lombardy. Italian engineer and architect; the first to use ferrocemento (cement sprayed on a fine wire mesh).
From 1908 to 1913, Nervi was a student in the engineering faculty of the University of Bologna. In 1946 he became an instructor at the University of Rome. Nervi often experiments with modern building materials and the structural units for which they are used, seeking to bring out innate possibilities for artistic expression.
Between 1929 and 1932, Nervi built a stadium in Florence, emphasizing its structural elements (reinforced-concrete pillars supporting the stands, spiral staircases, abutments for the cantilever roof) and achieving an expressive spatial composition. From 1935 to 1940, while building aircraft hangars in Orvieto and Orbetello, the architect developed a new system of construction using prefabricated uninterrupted roof spans made from rhomboid reinforced-concrete components.
In 1946, Nervi began to study the possibilities of ferrocemento. He was the first to design a thin-walled span of ferrocemento elements to roof a building. He first used such a span in 1948 and 1949 in his design of an exhibition hall in Turin. The rhythmic patterns of the ceiling and the innovative canted ceiling supports bring out the hidden interaction of forces and form an austere and refined composition.
Nervi’s subsequent architectural work involved the perfecting of ferrocemento shells and a search for various architectural forms and designs. His best works of the 1950’s and 1960’s combine the plastic expressiveness of crude ferrocemento and reinforced-concrete structural elements with a bold and clear design based on precise engineering computations and with a clear and functionally effective spatial organization. Works from this period include the Palazzetto dello Sport in Rome, which has a shallow dome resting on Y-piers; the Palace of Labor in Turin (1961, with architect A. Nervi), which has innovative “umbrella-like” domes on massive pillars; the UNESCO building in Paris (1957, with architects M. L. Breuer and B. Zehr-fuss), whose conference hall has corrugated reinforced-concrete walls and ceiling; and the 32-story Pirelli Building in Milan (1956–60, with architect G. Ponti).
WORKSCostruire correttamente. Milan, 1955. (Abridged Russian translation,
Stroit‘pravil’no. . . . Moscow, 1956.)
Nuove strutture. Milan, 1963.
REFERENCESIvanova, E. K., and R. A. Katsnel’son. P’er Luidzhi Nervi. Moscow, 1968.
Argan, G. C. Pier Luigi Nervi. Milan, 1955.
Huxtable, A. L. Pier Luigi Nervi New York, 1960.
E. K. IVANOVA