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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Palazzettoo dello Sport, Rome

Swinging the lead: Day 1 Part 1

Palazzettoo dello Sport

When my daughter finished Uni she dumped all of her study materials in her old bedroom at Chez Extreme Groundhopping. These are mostly books on or about Architecture (her chosen career which I may have gone on about before). Having contracted a rather nasty cold that looks like keeping me off work for a few days I’ve decided to have a good look through them and the accompanying pile of architectural journals. I don’t have to move far to get to them as Mrs Extreme Groundhopping has banished me to my daughters old room until such time that I stop wheezing, coughing, sneezing and filling the bin with used Kleenex every hour or so. Anyway, cutting to the chase, I’ve already uncovered a few articles on the design and construction of a number of sporting venues around the world details of which I will be sharing with you over the course of the coming week. Exciting hey? So here we go with number one the Palazettozo dello Sport in Rome, designed by architect Pier Luigi Nervi for the 1960 Summer Olympics...

Palazzettoo dello Sport

Nervi had first attracted international attention following the completion of the Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence in 1932 (more on that in a later post), and a quarter of a century on was charged with the design of three arenas for the Games of the XVII Olympiad. A modest arena with just 3,500 seats it was his design for the dome of the Palazzettoo dello Sport that attracted most interest. Constructed of prefabricated reinforced concrete supported by loading bearing flying buttresses the whole building was erected in just forty days. On the inside the dome has a white finished ribbed ceiling which, if the photos are anything to go by, gives the place a rather elegant look. Between the dome and the main seating area is a continuous stretch of glass that runs around the whole stadium. All rather nice.

Palazzettoo dello Sport

The Palazettozo del Sport, which hosted boxing matches during the Rome games, was the home of the Pallacanestro Virtus Roma basketball team from 1960 until the early 1980’s. The basketball team then moved to another of Nervi’s Olympic arena’s, the similarly sounding but much larger Palazzo dello Sport, returning to their old home during renovations to the Palazzo dello Sport at the beginning of the new millennium. Following on from his Olympic success Pier Luigi Nervi busied himself with a multitude of other distinctive looking and varied use buildings including the Paul VI Audience Hall in Vatican City, the Australian Embassy in Paris and the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal, New York City. He passed away in 1979.

[The photos were found here, here and here]

posted by chevblue at 7:23 pm






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