Architecture Beyond the Cupola: Inventions and Designs of Dante Bini

Villa Antonioni Lanciotti

CO.AS.IT., 199 Faraday Street, Carlton

  • Book launch

Join us for the book launch of Architecture Beyond the Cupola: Inventions and Designs of Dante Bini by Dr Alberto Pugnale and Alberto Pugnale, with an introduction by Professor Philip Goad. The book presents the Binishell, an innovative and automated construction technique to generate and build thin concrete shell and dome structures. Dante Bini invented this construction system in 1964 near Bologna, in Italy. The concept involves casting a reinforced concrete structure on the ground, which is then gradually raised by means of air.

This book focuses on the architectural implications of designing shell structures through automated construction techniques, and it aims to showcase Dante Bini’s inventions, designs and built projects. At the same time, the ambition has been to explore the past to better understand the current trends and developments in digital design and fabrication. The hope is to inspire and inform the potential future uses of innovative construction automation techniques and the next generation of new architectural forms and languages.

About the authors

Dr Alberto Pugnale is an architect and Senior Lecturer in Architectural Design at the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning of The University of Melbourne. He is a co-director of the Advanced Digital Design + Fabrication (ADD+F) Hub. In 2007, he won the IASS HANGAI Prize for young researchers under 30. In 2023, he received the IASS Tsuboi Award for the most meritorious paper published in the Journal of the IASS in the preceding calendar year. From 2010 to 2012, he was Assistant Professor at Aalborg University, Denmark. He has been an invited lecturer in various countries, and he is currently a member of the ‘International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures’ (IASS) and of the ‘Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand’ (SAHANZ). He is also a member of the Editorial Board of the “Nexus Network Journal” and the “International Journal of Space Structures”. For more information, check Alberto's personal website.

Professor Philip Goad is internationally known for his research and is an authority on modern Australian architecture. Philip has worked extensively as an architect, conservation consultant, and curator. Philip is an expert on the life and work of Robin Boyd, and has held visiting scholar positions at Columbia University, Bartlett School of Architecture (London) and UCLA (Los Angeles). Philip is a past editor of Fabrications, the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand, and is a contributing editor to Architecture Australia. Along with Professor Julie Willis, he is the editor of The Encyclopedia of Australian Architecture.

This research project and book publication were supported by the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning of The University of Melbourne and by the Department of Architecture and Design (DiAP) of the Sapienza University of Rome.

Image: Diana Lanciotti