Studio for the Olivetti showroom in New York
In 1954, with the decoration of the Olivetti showroom, opened in the center of New York, on Fifth Avenue, Nivola inaugurated his career as a sculptor for architecture. Designed by the Milanese studio BBPR, the showroom is an environment full of imaginative inventions with a surrealist flavor. Perfect example of "synthesis of the arts" in which architecture, sculpture and design harmoniously contribute to the overall effect, the project has its most striking element in Nivola's work. The relief, 23 meters long, was made with a technique invented by the artist, sandcasting (plaster sculpture from a matrix modeled in the sand), and represents a series of semi-abstract figures, divinities who carry small human figures in their wombs and who they welcome the visitor with broad gestures of welcome. Visually detached from the sea green floor and the sky blue ceiling by means of a line of light, the "sand wall", with its grainy surface reminiscent of the beach, gives an impression of lightness and helps to evoke the image of Mediterranean nature. The great success of the project imposes Nivola in the international field as the ideal collaborator for modernist architects, and at the same time sanctions the overseas affirmation of Italian design and creativity.