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  Essential Architecture-  Turin

Palazzo del Lavoro


Pier Luigi Nervi


Turin, Italy


1959 to 1961


International Style


concrete, steel, reinforced curtain wall 


Exhibition hall
"The Palace of Labour designed and built by Nervi and his son Antonio for the Turin exhibition of 1961 was the result of a competition held in 1959. The building—containing 85,000 square feet of exhibition space—had to be capable of conversion to a technical school at the end of the exhibition. It was erected in less than eighteen months.

Like Mies van der Rohe's buildings, there is a subtle fusion of structure and space in Nervi's buildings. But whereas Mies searched for free internal space, Nervi's aesthetic is dependent on an energetic exhibition of the structural parts of a building. The Palace of Labour was no exception... the simple 525 feet square shape was divided into sixteen structurally separate steel roofed compartments each supported on 65-foot-high concrete stems. The external walls, entirely clad in glass, wrapped round the perimeter of the building and incorporated large 70-foot-high vertical mullions."

—Dennis Sharp. Twentieth Century Architecture: a Visual History. p245.