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Paper mill Burgo, Mantua
Pier Luigi Nervi

"Seen side on the Mantua paper mill looks very much like
an enormous suspended bridge. Even the water purifiers
have been designed as monumental fountains to blend in
beautifully with the surrounding landscape. Pier Luigi Nervi
combined the highest levels of engineering and architecture
in this project, developing his experimental and researched
theories on reinforced concrete, used as ductile "molten stone".

Requirements:
The structure needed to support and house the largest continuous
paper machine in Italy: covering a distance of over 100 m. the
machine transforms pulp into newspaper which is then wound
onto large bobbins at a speed of almost a thousand metres per minute.
There were to be no obstacles along the entire length of the building that
would impede the positioning of the machine and the project was also
required to take into consideration a second and possible third machine
of similar dimensions in the future.

Solution:
the first idea was to construct the building as though it were a bridge
covering the structure but the cost of the foundations would have been
too expensive so Nervi designed two independent systems: a base on two
levels to support the paper machine and all the production systems with
a roof at a height of 72 ft. consisting of a steel deck suspended by four steel
cables and two side cantilevers each of 140 ft.". A façade of glass interlaced
with steel runs between the base and the roof for the entire length of the
structure. Innovative in both design and technique, this project signalled
Burgo’s entry onto the international market: Nervi was at that time one of
the most prestigious designers in the world, internationally renowned for
his invention of ferro-cement and amazing construction designs."
[text from Burgo website]