This book reviews Dante Bini’s inventions and designs, focusing on his form-resistant Binishell and other pneumatic construction systems. Dante Bini’s double profile of architect and builder underpins the narrative of the entire book. It is used to analyse the evolution of the early reinforced-concrete Binishell patent into a variety of automated construction systems based on the use of air. Dante Bini has always been quite proactive in promoting his work and disseminating the results of his experimentations and achievements via journal articles, conference presentations and public talks; promotional brochures in multiple languages were also prepared to export and license his patents in various countries, from Italy to the Americas and Australia. Despite this, a rigorous study of Dante Bini’s work is still unavailable, and the relevance of this figure to contemporary architecture has yet to be discussed comprehensively. This book fills in this gap and arrives at the right time: during the last two decades, there has been an exponential interest in shell and spatial structures, particularly concerning the use of complex geometries and innovative construction techniques.
This book will be of interest to academics in architectural design, theory and construction history, and practitioners and students interested in expanding their knowledge in the design and construction of shell and spatial structures.
Alberto Pugnale is an architect and Senior Lecturer in Architectural Design at the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at The University of Melbourne (Australia). He is a co-director of the Advanced Digital Design + Fabrication (ADD+F) Research Hub and a founding member of the Bioinspiration Hallmark Research Initiative. Alberto has a PhD in architecture and building design and an MSc in architecture and construction. In 2007, he won the IASS HANGAI Prize, an international competition on research papers related to the field of shell and spatial structures for young researchers under 30. In 2008, he won a research scholarship, granted by the ISI Foundation (Turin, Italy), related to the study of complex architectural and structural bodies. From 2010 to 2012, he was an Assistant Professor of Structures at Aalborg University (Denmark). He has been an invited lecturer in various countries, including China, France, Mexico, Italy, Switzerland and the United States. At present, he is a member of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS). He is also a reviewer for international journals and a member of the editorial board of the Nexus Network Journal: Architecture and Mathematics and the International Journal of Space Structures.
Alberto Bologna is an architect and a tenure-track Assistant Professor (RTDb) in Architectural Design at the Faculty of Architecture – Department of Architecture and Design (DiAP) at the Sapienza University of Rome (Italy). Alberto has a PhD in architectural history and an MSc in architecture and construction. His research is focused on design cultures that are rooted in construction principles and he investigates the relationship between form, structure, tectonics, ornament and spatial quality in contemporary architecture and engineering. From 2011 to 2015, he was a post-doc scientist at the EPFL–École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, in Switzerland. From 2017 to 2020, he was a fixed-term Assistant Professor (RTDa) in Architectural Design at the Politecnico di Torino (Italy). Between 2018 and 2019, he was a visiting scholar at Tsinghua University in Beijing (China), where he taught design studios on exposed concrete. Alberto also worked as an Adjunct Professor in Architectural Design and Theory at the University of Genoa (2015-16), the University of Ferrara (2016-17), the Politecnico di Milano (2016-17 and 2020-21), the Politecnico di Torino (2015-17), and the SUPSI–University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (2020-21). Alberto has authored several books that investigated the relationship between architectural design and construction, including Pier Luigi Nervi negli Stati Uniti (Firenze University Press, 2013), The rhetoric of Pier Luigi Nervi. Concrete and ferrocement forms (with R. Gargiani, EPFL Press-Routledge, 2016), The resistance of Laugier. The classicism of Murcutt (LetteraVentidue, 2019), and Chinese Brutalism Today. Concrete and avant-garde architecture (ORO Editions, 2019). He is a member of the editorial board of several international peer-reviewed journals and a correspondent for the Swiss architectural magazine Archi.