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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 thatwould 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]