Pier Luigi Nervi


Pier Luigi Nervi

Infobox Engineer


image_size =
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name = Pier Luigi Nervi
nationality = Italian
birth_date =birth date|1891|6|21|mf=y
birth_place = Sondrio, Italy
death_date =Death date and age|1979|1|9|1891|6|21
death_place =
education = University of Bologna
spouse =
parents =
children =
discipline = Structural engineer
institutions = Society for Concrete Construction
Institution of Structural Engineers
practice_name =
significant_projects = Olympic Stadium in Rome (1960)
UNESCO headquarters in Paris (1950)
Hangar in Orvieto (1935)
significant_design =
significant_awards = IStructE Gold Medal

Pier Luigi Nervi (June 21, 1891 - January 9, 1979) was an Italian engineer and architect. He studied at the University of Bologna and qualified in 1913. Dr. Nervi taught as a professor of engineering at Rome University from 1946-61. He is renowned for his brilliance as a structural engineer and his novel use of reinforced concrete.

Biography

Pier Luigi Nervi was born in Sondrio and attended the Civil Engineering School of Bologna, from which he graduated in 1913. After graduation, Nervi joined the Society for Concrete Construction. Nervi spent several years in the Italian army during World War I from 1915-1918, when he served in the Corps of Engineering. His formal education was quite similar to that experienced by today's civil engineering student in Italy.

Civil engineering works

Nervi began practicing civil engineering after 1923, and built several airplane hangars amongst his contracts. During 1940s he developed ideas for a reinforced concrete which helped in the rebuilding of many buildings and factories throughout Western Europe, and even designed/created a boat hull that was made of reinforced concrete as a promotion for the Italian government.

Nervi also stressed that intuition should be used as much as mathematics in design, especially with thin shelled structures. He borrowed from both Roman and Renaissance architecture to create aesthetically pleasing structures, yet applied structural aspects such as ribbing and vaulting often based on nature. This was to improve the structural strength and eliminate the need for columns. He succeeded in turning engineering into an art by taking simple geometry and using sophisticated prefabrication to find direct design solutions in his buildings.

Engineer and architect

Pier Luigi Nervi was educated and practised as a "ingegnere edile" (translated as "building engineer") - in Italy, at the time (and to a lesser degree also today), a building engineer might also be considered an architect. After 1932, his aesthetically pleasing designs were used for major projects. This was due to the booming number of construction projects at the time which used concrete and steel in Europe and the architecture aspect took a step back to the potential of engineering. Nervi successfully made reinforced concrete the main structural material of the day.

International projects

Most of his built structures are in his native Italy, but he also worked on projects abroad. Nervi's first project in the United States was the George Washington Bridge Bus Station. He designed the roof which consists of triangle pieces which were cast in place. This building is still used today by over 700 buses and their passengers.

Noted works

* Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence (1931)
* Exhibition Building, Turin, Italy (1949).
* UNESCO headquarters, Paris (1950) (collaborating with Marcel Breuer and Bernard Zehrfuss)
* The Pirelli Tower, Milan (1950) (collaborating with Gio Ponti)
* Palazzetto dello sport, Rome (1958)
* Olympic Stadium, Rome (1960)
* Palazzo del Lavoro, Turin (1961)
* Paper Mill, Mantua, Italy (1962)
* George Washington Bridge Bus Station, New York City (1963)
* Tour de la Bourse, Montreal (1964)
* Field House at Dartmouth College
* Thompson Arena at Dartmouth College
* Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption, San Francisco, California (1967) (collaborating with Pietro Belluschi)
* Paul VI Audience Hall, Vatican City (1971)
* Australian Embassy, Paris (1973) Consulting engineer
* Good Hope Centre, Cape Town (1976) by Studio Nervi, an exhibition hall and conference centre, with the exhibition hall comprising an arch with tie-beam on each of the four vertical facades and two diagonal arches supporting two intersecting barrel-like roofs which in turn were constructed from pre-cast concrete triangular coffers with in-situ concrete beams on the edges.
* Norfolk Scope, Norfolk, VA (1971)

Awards

Pier Luigi Nervi was awarded Gold Medals by the Institution of Structural Engineers, the AIA, RIBA and the Académie d'architecture.

ee also

* Thin-shell structure

External links

* [http://www.romestate.it/fotobook_event.php?id=3&lang=eng Photos Palazzetto dello sport 1958] District Flaminio, Rome, Italy.
*
* [http://www.giovannardierontini.it/Pubblicazioni.htm"Pierluigi Nervi e l'arte di costruire",] Fausto Giovannardi, Borgo San Lorenzo (Florence) Italy 2008


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