NERVI lab: structural geometries’ models
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BY FRANCESCO ROMEO, NerViLab project director
Born from the wish to represent and analyze Nervi’s exemplary synthesis between structure, geometric form and construction, the research activity of NerViLab (Nervi Virtual Lab) is carried out focusing on a reverse engineering operation, employing a methodology based on a virtual laboratory in which computer models of the architectural works chosen for study are developed.
The aims of the three-dimensional mathematical modelling conducted by NerViLab are twofold: on one hand, the creation of physical models for prototyping using sterolithography; on the other, the analysis of examples of Nervi’s structural design with the aid of today’s tools for computational mechanics.
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The NerViLab activity is part of the preparatory work conducted for the touring exhibition Pier Luigi Nervi, Architecture as a Challenge, curated by Carlo Olmo, arising from the Association Pier Luigi Nervi Research and Knowledge Management Project based in Bruxelles, the Civa (Centre International pour la Ville, l’Architecture et le Paysage) of Bruxelles, the MAXXI/ Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI secolo and CSAC/Centro Studi e Archivi della Comunicazione of the Università di Parma. An international scientific committee leads the research activities deriving from the collaboration among Politecnico di Torino, Università di Tor Vergata and Sapienza Università di Roma.
The research activity, carried out through the phases of redesign, modeling and prototyping, started from a scientific agreement between Dipartimento di Ingegneria Strutturale e Geotecnica of Sapienza Università di Roma and Centro Archivi of MAXXI Architettura di Roma, and it was also based on the documents coming from the CONI and CSAC archives.
The physical models for the works showcased in the series of exhibitions dedicated to Pier Luigi Nervi were designed to enhance the understanding of Nervi’s ideas and and illustrate the most successful feature of his oeuvre: the spatial expressivity of structural compositions achieved with the aid of geometric language.
The prototyping of the models has been possible thanks to a cooperation with Materialise NV, Leuven, Jeroen Moons project director.
NerViLab has been made possible thanks to a funding by Italcementi Group.