The economic recovery of post-war Italy, afflicted by the scarcity of economic resources and raw materials, can be well represented by the work of Pier Luigi Nervi.
In the late ’30s, the Valtellina engineer renewed the reinforced concrete construction technique. After the first hangars laid in Orvieto, he built the following ones, again in Orvieto, Orbetello and Torre del Lago, in modular and easily assembled pieces, made at the worksite.
As a designer and director of the Nervi & Bartoli company, Nervi implemented experimental techniques, closely linked to constructive solutions, patented and progressively improved, entrusting the structures’ resistance to the form, conceived in strict relation to the load stresses.
The coincidence between art and technique is translated, in his major works, into a recurring spatiality enhanced by the essentiality of the supports, freed from distributive organization. The roofing defines a sort of spatial and structural horizon, which separates the functional contingencies from an autonomous idea of space represented in the plot of the vaulted intrados.
Rational, measured, symmetrical spaces: classic, in the wake of a tradition that runs from L. B. Alberti to Palladio.