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Vol. 54 (2013) No. 3 September n. 177

Norfolk Scope Arena: A US Dome with a Unique Configuration of Interior Ribs and Buttresses

< Table of Contents for Vol. 54 (2013) No. 3 September n. 177
  • Journal Name: Journal of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (J. IASS)
  • ISSN: (Electronic Version) 1996-9015
  • ISSN: (Print Version) 1028-365X
  • Issue: Vol. 54 (2013) No. 3 September n. 177
  • Pages: 189-198
  • Title: Norfolk Scope Arena: A US Dome with a Unique Configuration of Interior Ribs and Buttresses
  • Author(s): E.M. Segal and S. Adriaenssens
  • Keywords: Nervi, reinforced concrete dome, thin concrete shell, precast, buttress, rib, tension ring
This paper compares Pier Luigi Nervi’s Norfolk Scope Arena (Norfolk, VA, US, 1970) to his earlier domes and to other long span concrete domes built in the United States of America (US) in the 1960s and 1970s. The first objective is to show the progression in Nervi’s dome designs. This paper identifies chronologically when interior ribs and buttresses (inclined columns), prominent elements at Scope Arena, initially appear in Nervi’s domes. The second objective is to demonstrate the various ways Nervi details these elements in his domes. After showing this diversity broadly across eight of his works, the paper describes specifically how the interior ribs and buttresses are configured at Scope Arena and then compares this arrangement to those of the visually different Little and Large Sports Palaces (Rome, Italy 1957 and 1960, respectively). The third objective is to show that Scope Arena’s ribs and buttresses give the shell a unique form among other US domes from the same era. Comparisons in this paper seek to place Scope Arena in the context of its contemporaries so that its contributions to the field of thin concrete shell roofs can be better understood.

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