Construction Site


15 were the companies that constructed the buildings involving 5000 workers (Moriondo, 1981), among them were: the Carpenteria Milanese ing. Cavani e C.ia for the Palace of Fashion and the Alpine Club Hotel, Giovanni Gioia for the Alpine Village and the Palace of Argentina, Fornaroli e Borrini for the Acquarium, Viotti brothers for the Monumental Bridge, Quadri e Colombo for the Palace of the Royal Navy, the Palace of Festival and Concerts, the Great Britain Pavilion, the Pavilion of France, the Monumental Waterfall, the Pavilion of Germany; Officine Savigliano for the Gallery of Electricity, Quadri e Colombo and Officine Savigliano cooperated for the erection of the gallery of Work, Porcheddu for the Palace of Newspaper and Stadium, Paolo Cittera for the Palace of Brazil, Pasqualin e Vienna for the Pilonetto Complex (Touring Club Italiano, 1911). Snow, strong wind – during winter 1910 and spring 1911 (Ferrettini, 1911; Moriondo, 1981) – and a strike that lasted two weeks and involving the 5000 workers – between February and March 1911 (Moriondo, 1981) - slowed down the construction of the structures (De Luca, 1911a) that started on summer 1910 (Moriondo, 1981), but in January 1911 the pavilions erection was well advanced:

«Così, sotto l’avvolgente oscurità€ dell’imperversante intemperie si compie il vasto disegno, si completa il grande quadro di bellezza magica, si costruisce la Città delle cento Cupole, che rifulgerà grandiosamente al sole di primavera». (“In giro per le mostre torinesi,” 1911a, p.31)


At the opening on the 29th April 1911, very few exhibits were completed, and one month was requested to conclude everything (De Luca, 1911a). Most of the pavilions were built in wood, reed, and plaster, such as the Pavilion of Fashion, the Alpine Village, and the Monumental Complex (Touring Club Italiano, 1911). Pillars were composed of four massive wooden elements bounded by iron belts, wooden pieces were pinned down onto the structure and covered in plaster; decorations and statues were mass-produced into lightweight molds to be elevated with pulleys and carried on the workers’ shoulders (Moriondo, 1981). In the Pilonetto Complex, wood was also used for the dome and the Bridge, and for the Pavilion of Great Britain which was covered with wooden strips and decorations in stucco covered the wooden structure (Touring Club Italiano, 1911). Iron structures depicted in vermilion (Ferrettini, 1910a) were used in the Gallery of Electricity where pillars stood on plinths in bricks and mortar, similarly the Gallery of Great Britain was built with a metal structure (Touring Club Italiano, 1911). The Pavilion of Newspaper and the Stadium were the sole structures built in concrete and destined to survive after the Fair closing14F15, the former was covered in bricks, the latter in natural stones (Ballatore & Gonella, 1910; “Il cemento armato all’Esposizione. Il Palazzo del Giornale,” 1910; “Lo Stadium,” 1910; Massaia, 1989; Touring Club Italiano, 1911). The Palace of Newspaper had a central hall 22 m wide and 80 m long, it also had vaults and a dome in concrete and was surrounded by a porch with galleries on the second level to observe the art of printing since the XV century from above, large skylights got light into the wide hall. This Pavilion was designed to survive as a building for the exhibition of art and gardening, and for concerts and assemblies (Ferrettini, 1910b). Most of the ephemeral structures built for the Fair were destined to be demolished in the end. For instance, the Quadri e Colombo company was in charge of the execution and demolishing of the Pavilion of Great Britain (“Esposizione Internazionale delle Industrie e del Lavoro Torino 1911,” 1910).

Related Built Environment Objects

Related Secondary Sources

Related Archival Material

Torino Esposizione 1911 (Touring Club Italiano) Torino Esposizione 1911 (Touring Club Italiano)