May 5-20, 2018
Lehigh University, in collaboration with Buzzi Unicem USA and the National Museum of Industrial History, is glad to organize and offer an exhibit on the life and work of Pier Luigi Nervi, structural engineer and architect.
The exhibit will investigate the transformative contributions that Nervi has provided in the field of reinforced concrete, at the intersection between structural engineering and architecture. The event will be also an opportunity to reflect on the paramount role that the cement and concrete industry has had in the Lehigh Valley for more than a century, and on the Italian heritage in the region.
The exhibit is part of a portfolio of collaborations spanning scientific research, technology advancement, and cultural initiatives resulting from the strategic partnership between Lehigh University and Buzzi Unicem USA.
Pier Luigi Nervi: Art and Science of Building
The Traveling Exhibition
a project by Comunicarch Associates with Pier Luigi Nervi project
This international exhibition celebrates the life and work of one of the greatest and most inventive structural engineers of the 20th century, Pier Luigi Nervi (1891-1979). With his masterpieces, scattered over the world, Nervi contributed to creating a glorious period for structural architecture. Nikolaus Pevsner, the distinguished historian of architecture, described him as “the most brilliant artist in reinforced concrete of our time”. Nervi shared the cultures of architects and engineers, operating at the very intersection between the art, science, and technology of building. He has been described as having an engineer’s audaciousness, an architect’s imagination, and a businessman’s practical realism.
In 2010, an itinerant exhibition was developed and offered across Europe. This work marked the outcome of a multifaceted research project that assembled a broad team of scholars, with the aim of retracing the multifaceted legacy of Nervi’s oeuvre. The result was a complex historical picture in which Nervi’s revolutionary construction techniques are closely linked with Italian and international social and political development, coupled with an exploration of the rich world of cultural and scientific relationships in which Nervi operated. After the success of previous editions, a new format of the exhibition was specifically created to travel overseas and celebrate not only the genius and inventiveness of Pier Luigi Nervi, but also his genuine international spirit, as a designer, builder and educator. The exhibit offers Nervi's perspective on the very topical issue of dialogue and interaction between architecture and engineering.
Thomas Leslie, Morrill Pickard Chilton Professor in Architecture, Iowa State University.
Prof. Leslie has taught building design, history, and technology at Iowa State University since 2000. He has degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Columbia University. Prior to teaching, he spent seven years with Norman Foster and Partners, London.
Leslie is the author of “Louis I. Kahn: Building Art, Building Science” (Braziller, 2005), “Chicago Skyscrapers, 1871-1934” (University of Illinois, 2013), as well as “Beauty’s Rigor: Patterns of Production in the Work of Pier Luigi Nervi” (University of Illinois, 2017). He has held visiting positions at the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University, the University of Technology-Sydney, Australia, the Bauhaus-Universität in Weimar, Germany, and the Università di Bologna, and in 2013-2014 he was the Booth Family Rome Prize Fellow in Historic Preservation at the American Academy in Rome.
Saturday May 5, 2018 — Iacocca Hall, Lehigh University
|3:45-4:20pm||Welcome addresses and presentation of the exhibit, with the participation of:
Paolo Bocchini (Frank Hook Assistant Professor of Structural Engineering, Lehigh University),
Stephen P. DeWeerth (Professor and Dean, P.C. Rossin College of Engineering, Lehigh University),
Tony Hanna (Executive Director, Redevelopment Authority of the City of Bethlehem),
Massimo Toso (CEO, Buzzi Unicem USA),
Pier Forlano (Consul General of Italy in Philadelphia)
|4:20-5:00pm||Keynote lecture “Beauty’s Rigor: Patterns of Production in the Work of Pier Luigi Nervi” by Thomas Leslie|
|5:00-6:00pm||Open exhibit and refreshments|
Sunday May 6, 2018 — Iacocca Hall, Lehigh University
|1:30-2:30pm||Keynote lecture “Nervi's Harmonious Interplays” by Thomas Leslie|
May 9–20, 2018 — National Museum of Industrial History
|10:00am-5:00pm||Exhibit included with admission to museum|
On May 5–6 the exhibit and opening ceremony will be held in the Wood Dining Room of Iacocca Hall, at the Mountaintop campus of Lehigh University.
111 Research Drive
Bethlehem, PA 18015, USA
Then, during May 9–20 the exhibit will be available at the
National Museum of Industrial History
602 East 2nd Street
Bethlehem, PA 18015, USA
The opening ceremony, keynote lectures, and the entire exhibit will be free and open to the public while at Lehigh University. When the exhibit will move to the National Museum of Industrial History, it will be included with the general admission to the museum.
Registration to the events at Lehigh University is not required, but recommended. Priority will be given to the registered guests. To register, it is sufficient to fill the form displayed below.
Both the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Society of Civil Engineers – Structural Engineering Institute (ASCE–SEI) will offer Professional Development Hours to the participants.
In particular 1 PDH will be granted for each one of the two keynote lectures. Note that it is up to the individual to verify that the PDH qualifies in their state.
Organizer: Dr. Paolo Bocchini, Lehigh University
Team members and collaborators:
Please send any inquiry to Amy Kowalski at firstname.lastname@example.org