“Cartier Burgo”. Pier Luigi Nervi. Preservation and Reuse

© Massimo Narduzzo_TSAM-EPFL_2022

© Massimo Narduzzo_TSAM-EPFL_2022

Docomomo Switzerland / TSAM Lectures: Massimo Narduzzo, Studio CREA.RE architects, "Cartiera Burgo. Pier Luigi Nervi. Preservation and Reuse

On-line lecture: https://epfl.zoom.us/j/65762164542
Tuesday, May 10, 2022, 6 PM

The building, designed by Pier Luigi Nervi with Gino Covre for the Burgo paper mill between 1961 and 1964, consists of a two-level reinforced concrete basement that supports the machine and contains various service spaces. At 22 meters high, the roof consists of a lattice steel beams suspended by four chains with two reinforced concrete trestles 47 meters high and 164 meters apart.

A fire which occurred in April 1974 irreparably damaged the outer shell of the building of the machines and the glasses were replaced with a cheaper sheet metal, in addition the brise-soleil on the south and west fronts were eliminated, taking away from the building the formal features designed by Pier Luigi Nervi. The difficulties of the Paper Mill, closed in 2013, prevented the continuation of the project and the South and East facades remained those built after the fire. In 2015, when the complex was acquired by the current property was cluttered with large technical volumes and superficies added over time, the result of decades of purely functional additions without a coherent design. In the preservation and reuse of the ex-Burgo paper mill to the new machines, the search for a balance between restoration and functional recovery has played a central role; from the beginning, the aim has been to achieve the greatest possible conservation of the existing and the greatest possible recovery of visual coherence with the original appearance of the Paper Mill. This was a mediation between the needs of use of a modern paper mill and the instances of historic buildings. The aim was to bringing back the buildings designed by Nervi to a level of formal coherence as close as possible to the original project and thus allow to maintain in efficiency, facilitate reading and transmit to the future this masterpiece of the twentieth century.

MASSIMO NARDUZZO (1953) is a graduate architect from the IUAV in Venice. Specialised in heritage conservation, he has led numerous restoration projects, including the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, Sicily, and the Arsenale in Venice. Since 2015, in collaboration with Studio CREA.RE, he has led the restoration of Pier Luigi Nervi’s «Cartiera Burgo» complex.