In February 2016, MAXXI — Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo organized an exhibition focusing on the Pier Luigi Nervi’s architectures for the sport. In that occasion the Museum, as the owner of the most relevant part of Nervi studio’s archive, decided to gives to the researchers an important tool, useful to document the entire work of the architect and to offer points of discussion: an inventory.
Few months before we were called by the Museum to design a book series. The book series is called Quaderni del Centro Archivi and it included the work of some of the most important architects of the past years. In this context we were invited, to give a sort of continuity, to develop a specific section of this book series called Gli inventari.
The first Inventario was about Pier Luigi Nervi. When we started to work on it, Nervi’s archive was already organized in an inventory, but was an online inventory. So the goal was to keep the same structure of the digital archive and design a physical object useful for the comprehension and consultation of the online inventory.
In other words, we had to match a digital archive with a book made of paper. Nice challenge!
When we got in touch with the contents we immediately understood that that book had could be not only a tool for few but an interesting book for everyone. The Pier Luigi Nervi’s archive is full of incredible photographs whole organized by Nervi’s staff.
In this sense, we started this work thinking about a code. We analyzed the existing code and we created a new one, for the book. The two codes had matched perfectly. At this point was important to integrate the work made on the codes with some visual diagrams to help the user to find the contents in a fast way. So we created a sort of horizontal construction of the schemes, with a tree structure, from the big folder to the single document. In addition to this, the number of Nervi’s projects was so huge and impressive that we designed an infographic that showed the work of the architect in the world.