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Designed in Italy, Made in Australia

Discovering the Australian work of Pier Luigi Nervi
Through a series of original work and new documentation, the exhibition will, for the first time, showcase the comprehensive work developed during the 60s and 70s by the world-famous Italian engineer and his office in Rome for Harry Seidler.

Pier Luigi Nervi 1891–1979) was a structural engineer but also a revolutionary Italian master builder, architect and artist, who forged, through the invention of the Sistema Nervi – Nervi System – a new structural aesthetic for modern architecture. His pioneering system was adopted all around the world to build some of his most famous buildings: the Rome Olympic Palasports, the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption in San Francisco, the Field House at Dartmouth College in the USA, and many others.

In Australia, the Sistema Nervi was for the first time adopted with the construction of the Australia Square Tower, designed by Harry Seidler. The success of the famous circular tower led to a fruitful collaboration that lasted for more than 15 years.

The exhibition will shed light on unexpected affinities between the Italian and Australian construction industries, Roman and Milanese precedents used in modern Sydney, and an unlikely connection between an Italian factory and a revered Australian skyscraper. This exhibition will pay tribute to the two men and their shared Australian legacy, casting light on its unexpected Italian affinities and celebrating it into the future.

Event details

The Exhibition, Sydney 2019
Curated by Dr Paolo Stracchi, Lecturer in Architectural Technology


Tin Sheds Gallery
The University of Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning
148 City Road, Darlington
Dates: 11 July - 7 September 2019
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday, 11am – 5 pm, Open Saturday 13 July, 9am - 3pm
Opening night: Thursday 11 July 2019, 6:30pm

Australia Square
264 George Street, Sydney
Dates: 18 September - 10 October 2019
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 10am – 5pm


Seidler Architectural Foundation
Harry Seidler & Associates
Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia
Dexus and The GPT Group
Italian Cultural Institute in Sydney
Arturo Tedeschi

Banner image: Australia Square. Photo Max Dupain (cropped), April 1968 © Penelope Seidler

Tin Sheds Gallery

  • 148 City Road, Darlington Sydney, NSW
Opening hours
Tuesday - Friday 11am – 5pm

Tin Sheds Gallery