During the years of Italy’s 'economic miracle', Italian engineering presented itself to the world in the form of an actual School, a prolific workshop producing new structural architecture. It was the heyday of a long string of events that we have described many times and whose fundamental steps can be summed up as follows. In the 19th century most metal structures were imported; then, in the early 20th century, with the advent of reinforced concrete, Italian engineering started to achieve its autonomy, especially through the pioneering work on arch bridges carried out together by scientists and builders. This autonomy became consolidated during the period of autarchy, when the two experimental lines appeared that after the War would relaunch reinforced concrete structures: one based on 'form resistance' that led to thin shell and the other based on coaction that led to the prestressing technique. By continuing along these paths, in the post-War period Italian engineering was a protagonist in the major reconstruction endeavour of rebuilding road and railway networks. The experimental stage was over and engineering was now taking on a collective dimension: a school was emerging. And not only in the academic sense: in the field, it was now normal practice for the structural designer (a profile that had hitherto been quite uncommon) to lead the reconstruction of thousands of bridges. In the exceptional operational excitement that characterized the economic booming years, Italian engineering finally managed to express its architectural languages: new, original, perfect languages, and indeed in the minutely undulated domes by Pier Luigi Nervi and in Riccardo Morandi’s homogeneous cable-stayed bridge the world acknowledged the advent of a new structural architecture. And this was only the tip of the iceberg. In the numerous large construction works produced during the period of the economic boom – the Autostrada del Sole, the stadiums for the Rome Olympic Games, the facilities for the ‘Italia 61’ Expo, the international airports, the skyscrapers – gave rise to a wide array of structural languages, some of which were very diverse from one another, but all encompassed in a general homogeneous trend. And even after the lightning-quick extinction that was to follow the exploit, the School continued, for several years, to express works of extraordinary efficacy, including, for instance, the 'extruded' viaduct by Silvano Zorzi, or the "nameless form" for the bridge on the Basento River by Sergio Musmeci: 'posthumous masterpieces' that did not succeed in relaunching the School but are very useful from a historic standpoint to reveal hidden implications. What are the traits characterising the originality of Italian structural architectures? What are the characteristics whereby the School stands out with its distinctive features on the international scene? How is it (a truly very rare case) that engineering works are so poignant in bearing witness to a crucial period in Italy’s history? Keeping these questions in mind let us re-read some of the main structural languages expressed by the Italian School of Engineering.
Iori, T., & Poretti, S. (2015). Il Linguaggio delle strutture. In T. Iori, & S. Poretti (a cura di), SIXXI 2. Storia dell'ingegneria strutturale in Italia, (pp. 7-21). GANGEMI.
|Autori:||Iori, T; Poretti, S|
|Titolo:||Il Linguaggio delle strutture|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore ICAR/10 - Architettura Tecnica|
|Tipo:||Capitolo o saggio|
|Tipologia:||Contributo in libro|
|Citazione:||Iori, T., & Poretti, S. (2015). Il Linguaggio delle strutture. In T. Iori, & S. Poretti (a cura di), SIXXI 2. Storia dell'ingegneria strutturale in Italia, (pp. 7-21). GANGEMI.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||03 - Contributo in libro|