Pier Luigi Nervi (1891-1979) is the most famous Italian engineer from the twentieth century. In 1952, having reached the peak of his career as a designer and entrepreneur in Italy, Nervi decided to enter the academic and professional world in the United States. Thus he undertook a path that would lead him to achieve fame in America: he promoted the circulation of his writings and works in the top American journals, strengthened his friendship with colleagues such as Pietro Belluschi, Marcel Breuer, Mario Salvadori and José Luis Sert, and held conferences in the most prestigious US universities. In 1962 Harvard University awarded him the Charles Eliot Norton chair. Between 1958 and 1976, thanks to the fame he had won, Studio Nervi succeeded in obtaining and managing important consultancy assignments for the construction of large structures in the United States. This book analyses how Nervi managed to export an idea of construction, characterized by unmistakably original buildings, of great commercial success. The twenty years of Studio Nervi's business in the United States embrace an important part of the history of the relations between post-war Italian engineering culture and American architectural and construction praxis as well as between academia and profession, and, not least, between clients and design studios.
Politecnico di Torino, Italy