Pier Luigi Nervi was a prolific engineer and architect who pushed the boundaries of reinforced concrete with daring innovations and expressive concepts. The construction of Torino Esposizioni Exhibition Halls offered Nervi the first large-scale opportunity to combine prefabricated construction elements with his pioneering innovations in ferrocement, concrete reinforced with thin, multiple layers of wire mesh resulting in material that is both flexible and structurally sound. Shaped like a modern cathedral, Hall B consists of a wide nave covered by a cylindrical barrel vault and of an apse capped by a ribbed, half-dome inset with ferrocement tiles. This stylish and functional combination of precast and pour-in-place concrete elements is repeated in Hall C. Originally designed to host Italy's annual automobile show, Torino Esposizioni has been used for various exhibitions and events, including the 2006 Winter Olympics. Today, however, the complex is mostly abandoned.
Keeping It Modern is a grant initiative funded by the Getty Foundation focused on supporting model projects for the conservation of modern architecture. The teams involved on the present project will work on the two halls built by Pier Luigi Nervi by carrying out the completion of a seismic assessment to ensure compliance with recently updated Italian building codes. Also included in the project are non-invasive structural testing, 3D modeling, and the collection and analysis of historic and archival documentation.
The project team will synthesize the results into a conservation management plan that merges structural requirements and conservation standards with clear guidelines to prepare the structure for new use.
1st Italian Workshop of Shell and Spatial Structures (IWSS 2020) and virtual tour of Nervi's halls of Torino Esposizioni
Prof. Rosario Ceravolo will deliver a keynote on condition assessment and conservation of iconic concrete structures at the annual Symposium of the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE), to be held in Wroclaw on 7-9 October 2020.
A few days ago the group, together with the industrial partners of the KIM project, completed the preliminary site visit of the Pier Luigi Nervi's halls. The survey is the baseline of the experimental activities that will be carried out in the near future.
We are organizing an International Summer School entitled "The natural form of concrete – Analysis and testing on Nervi’s Ferrocemento" to be held at Politecnico di Torino in mid June 2021 for MSc and PhD students of engineering, architecture and pertinent disciplines.