Finding Pier Luigi Nervi
Since December 2014 two photographers are retracing
the footsteps of Pier Luigi Nervi, looking for a heritage
more and more concealed.
Matteo Cirenei (1965) and Marco Menghi (1986) have
begun documenting the major works, adding now the
secondary, which are very important for a glimpse of
all the experiments that led to the building techniques
used in the most famous works.
For this project Matteo Cirenei uses black and white film,
mainly in 6x12 format, from time to time in the 6x6.
What is known in the realization of his images is the
slowness of the gaze, an approach to photography where
the dimensions of the apparatus and the sequence of
typical mechanical operations of large-format machines
(he uses a Silvestri S4) very affects the reading of the
space that is internalized by the photographer prior to
impress the film with the final shot. The use of tripod is
a must, as the long exposure due to very small apertures
and the use of very low-speed film to have very sharp
negative, which allow high magnifications: the majesty
of the photographed architecture is best expressed with
very large prints, where the details of structural shapes
and textures of materials emerge in all their beauty.
The research work of Pier Luigi Nervi was born from
the shock received by observing the period photographs
illustrating the work of the great structural engineer, and
from the fact that many of its most important projects
currently concern in a state of semi-abandonment.
The structures he designed and built are a unique example
for technical solutions devised in the field of structural
architecture, expression of the Modern, the main reason
that prompted the authors to document them both in a
descriptive way, interpreting it with graphic images the
structural aesthetics, peculiar characteristic of the
pioneering use of reinforced concrete of the great engineer.
The photo project is conducted in cooperation with the
Association "Pier Luigi Nervi Project", whose main
mission is to promote awareness of the extraordinary
achievements of Nervi buildings to the conservation and
rehabilitation of existing facilities, with the hope of
contributing a scientific awareness and the protection
of the Modern architectural heritage, of which these
structures are among its highest expressions.