Anna Bronovitskaya’s next lecture centers around one of the leading Italian architects of the twentieth century, who gained worldwide recognition as an adept of reinforced cement frame constructions.
Pier Luigi Nervi was born June 21, 1891 in Sondrio, Northern Italy. A perfectionist from an early age, the soon-to-be architect scored 99 out of 100 in the civil engineering exam, never scaling down his standards in the years that followed. His light constructions of brand new qualities and fundamentally novel supporting frameworks were unable to be built solely intuitively—a precise calculation was as crucial as imagination. Nervi claimed that he never thought directly about the beauty of his works, which emerged essentially when “constructing correctly” (as he called one of his books: Construire correttamente, 1954). Art historian Nicolaus Pevzner, however, cites the architect referring to one of his colleague’s works as “very interesting, yet completely unbeautiful”.
The aesthetic excellence of Nervi’s buildings derives from profound knowledge of historical architecture, as well as engineering skills: his reinforced concrete ribs recall gothic silhouettes, while boldly twisted staircases and hyperbolic paraboloid vaults apparently allude to the Baroque style. Nervi’s constructions have at the same time become symbolical of modern Italy, and have influenced the architecture of other countries, including the Soviet Union.