Pier Luigi Nervi life and biography

Pier Luigi Nervi picture, image, poster

Pier Luigi Nervi biography

Date of birth : 1891-06-21
Date of death : 1979-01-09
Birthplace : Sondrio, Italy
Nationality : Italian
Category : Arhitecture and Engineering
Last modified : 2012-01-18
Credited as : engineer, architect, known for his use of reinforced concrete

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Pier Luigi Nervi (June 21, 1891 – January 9, 1979) was an Italian engineer. 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 widely known as a structural engineer and an architect, and for his innovative use of reinforced concrete.

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.From 1961-1962 Nervi was the Norton professor at Harvard University.

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 and 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 while applying ribbing and vaulting to improve strength and eliminate columns. He combined simple geometry and prefabrication to innovate design solutions.

Nervi believed that architecture and engineering were two connected parts of a whole. To produce good buildings, he felt that a knowledge of materials, nature and construction were essential to understanding architecture. His work as a theorist attracted a wide following.

Through his designs, Nervi successfully made reinforced concrete the main structural material of the day. He was awarded Gold Medals by the RIBA, the AIA and the Academi d'Architecture. In the years 1946-61 he was a professor of engineering at Rome University.

Nervi died in Rome in 1979.

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