Expo 58 offered an opportunity to the culture of design for intense international dialogue. The subject of the exposition (‘for a more humane world’) stimulated not only instrumental, but also iconic appreciation of technology and science, to the extent that these were advertised as fundamental elements of national and corporate representation. Expo 58 had already been defined a few months before the inauguration as ‘a festival of structures’: an opinion that still recurs in comments today. However, starting from some considerations made by Banham and Colquhoun, one may observe that the predominance of engineering ostentation instead of just presenting, as is commonly believed, structural innovations, demonstrated a new and different appreciation for the tectonics of advanced structures by the architects and engineers involved in the design of the exposition or simply by those who visited it and, no less important, by the public at large.
Keywords: Expo 58; Reyner Banham; tectonics