This year marks the 50th anniversary of Norfolk’s greatest modern building: Scope Arena. Designed by renowned Italian architect Pier Luigi Nervi in collaboration with local architectural firm Williams and Tazewell, its soaring struts lift the dome and paradoxically let light in from below, not above as in traditional domed structures. Scope exploited the extraordinary strength and flexibility of the astonishing new material of mesh-reinforced concrete and remains the largest thin-shell dome in the US. The civic center was intended to be the crown of the urban renewal project that profoundly altered the city over the course of several decades after World War II.
This exhibition will follow Nervi’s career as an architect in Italy through many projects, including airplane hangars, cathedrals, exhibit halls, and skyscrapers, giving visitors an understanding of the unique architectural achievement of Scope and its place in the history of modern architecture.