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PIER LUIGI NERVI AND THE STRUCTURAL ARCHITECTURE IN LECCE

Pier Luigi Nervi is one of the major architects of structural architecture in the international twentieth century. Extraordinary multifaceted figure of designer, theorist, teacher, builder and entrepreneur, he managed to unite in himself the two figures of the engineer and architect.
His strong creative sense combined with his technical skills and knowledge of the construction materials that emerged at the time, made possible the creation of pure forms of art. In fact, Nervi invented and patented the ferrocement, a composite material of high-quality cement mortar that covers an armor made up of a few bars and numerous layers of steel mesh, demonstrating that its material is equal, thanks to its reduced thickness , uses much less steel than ordinary reinforced concrete and allows a more refined use.

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He is responsible for some of the most beautiful works of contemporary architecture.
Its constructions, based on daring technical-structural solutions, achieve extraordinary elegance results and become icons of a new way of making architecture, admired worldwide. Through his achievements, scattered among Italy, Europe, America and Australia, Italian architecture lives in those years a glory season.

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The first major work of Nervi abroad is the UNESCO headquarters in Paris (1953-58), whose project works with Marcel Breuer and Bernard Zehrfuss.



In Italy, among the works of maturity deserve particular attention the Pirelli skyscraper in Milan (1955-59, with Arturo Danusso and Gio Ponti), the complex of works for the 1960 Olympics in Rome (in addition to the Palazzetto and the Palazzo dello Sport, the Flaminio Stadium, and the Viaduct of Corso Francia), the Palazzo del Lavoro in Turin (1960, with Gino Covre), the Ponte Risorgimento in Verona (1963-68), the Pontifical Audience Hall in the Vatican (1966-71) .

In Lecce his work is manifested through the construction of two important structures: the ex-tobacco building located in via Birago, pure expression of an industrialization movement that involved the whole country during those years, and the ex-hospital complex anti-tubercular sanatorium Galateo . Two buildings now in disuse for several years but which will soon be re-evaluated to serve the citizens.

To these two works is added another building worthy of note because entirely designed by Nervi, it is Palazzina Parisi, built between 1934 and 1935 and an example of rationalist architecture that prefers the use of local materials. Building that perfectly expresses the elegant and functional mold that has characterized all the work of this magnificent character.

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