The Municipal Stadium of Florence 1929-32
“The Municipal Stadium in Florence is certainly one of the most beautiful construction works of our time, a modern structure among the most remarkable and daring in Europe”, Giovanni Michelucci 1932
“Italy has, in the Florence Stadium, an architectural work unsurpassed in its kind”, Siegfried Giedion 1933
An avant-garde example
The stadium in Florence, later named after Artemio Franchi, was one of the first buildings in the world to give physical substance to a perfect synthesis of technology and aesthetics, a typical feature of Pier Luigi Nervi's design approach. In addition to being a builder of rare technical ability, Nervi was a poet, a thinker who knew how to impart momentum and purity to his agile and powerful reinforced concrete structures. In the Franchi Stadium, this aesthetic value, suffused into every part of the building, emerges uniquely; it is a complete, total work of architecture, a creation of superb unity that sings in forms of beauty that are perfectly consistent with their purpose and perfectly harmonized with each other.
The fusion of structure and beauty
The stadium is an exceptionally expressive piece of architecture, in which every single part is designed in harmonious agreement with the intrinsic structural forms to create a complete and indissoluble whole: a masterpiece in which Beauty coincides with Structure. The light cantilever canopy that boldly and confidently soars into the air seems almost shaped by the wind, like a bird's wing. The elegant dynamic interweaving of the spirals that make up its external helical stairs, the plastic structure its seating tiers’ supports, and the slender Marathon tower that overlooks the sports field all of these elements blend perfectly in a conception of rhythmic volumes, under the control of an extraordinary artistic sensitivity.