The following video and images feature the Milan shopping gallery Vittorio Emanuele II (1865-77) and in particular, the original roof in iron and glass. The construction of the large gallery marked a successfully met building challenge at local and national level. The importance of the roof - comprising four vaults (15 m span) and a monumental cupola (39 m diameter) - has been widely acknowledged in the history of iron-and-glass construction.
The virtual model displayed here puts together all the available data about the main roof components, technical solutions and construction details. The information for this model has been collected and analyzed in the personal doctoral dissertation 'Gallery Vittorio Emanuele II. The Iron-and-Glass Cover: Innovation, Conservation, Continuity'. Varied information sources, such as archival documents, original drawings, 19th century manuscripts and previous academic research, have been compared. Previously unpublished documents have been found and have filled in significant gaps in the available knowledge about the glazed canopy. The model illustrates how all the roof components co-existed in a complicated organism which was supported on combined structures in iron and masonry.
The virtual model was presented at the Third Annual Construction History Conference 2016 of the Construction History Society, Cambridge, 2016. Some images were published in the relevant paper included in the proceedings of the conference.