Mario Botta

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Mario Botta
Banca del Gottardo in Lugano, 1982–1988
MART Rovereto , 1988-2002
Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista in Mogno, 1986–1996
Administration building of the Harting company in Minden , 1999–2001
Dortmund, City and State Library, 1995–1999
Former seat of UBS and current second seat of the BIS , Basel , 1986–1995
La Fortezza, Maastricht , 1990-2000
Fiore di Petra on Monte Generoso in Ticino , 2017

Mario Botta (born April 1, 1943 in Mendrisio , Canton Ticino ) is a Swiss architect and co-founder, architecture professor and director of the ( Accademia di Architettura ) of the Università della Svizzera italiana in Mendrisio.


At the age of 15, Botta began an apprenticeship as a structural draftsman with Tita Carloni in Lugano (1958–1961). He then attended the Liceo Artistico in Milan . From 1964 to 1969 he studied architecture at the IUAV Istituto Universitario d'Architettura di Venezia, where he graduated in 1969 with Carlo Scarpa and Giuseppe Mazzariol . In the same year he opened his own architecture office in Lugano. In his further training he had contact with the legendary architects Carlo Scarpa, Le Corbusier , Louis I. Kahn and Luigi Snozzi , whose influence can be seen in many of his buildings. Botta is also considered to be the most important representative of the "Ticino School" that became famous in the 1970s and an admirer of Romanesque architecture .

Mario Botta often works with solid building materials such as natural stone, brick or concrete. Botta's rationalist style is composed of a strictly geometric, simple design language and components such as light and shadow. This combination makes the often very massive structures appear light and elegant. When designing his unmistakable works, Botta always uses the same architectural elements from an inexhaustible spectrum of shapes.

Many of his works can be found in his homeland, Ticino. Mario Botta is active worldwide and has many admirers far beyond the borders of Switzerland.

Mario Botta was appointed adjunct professor at the Swiss Federal University in Lausanne (EPFL) and an honorary member of the Association of German Architects BDA in 1983. Botta played a key role in founding the architecture department (Accademia di Architettura) at the Università della Svizzera italiana in Mendrisio, where he has taught with Aurelio Galfetti , Kenneth Frampton and Peter Zumthor since 1996 . In 2011 he was appointed director of the Accademia di Architettura; he succeeded the Bündner architect Valentin Bearth .


Botta is married and has three children who have been working with him since 1998. He has lived and worked in Mendrisio since 2011.

honors and awards


  • A master of precision, no joint is in the wrong place. ( Siegbert Keller on Mario Botta, civitas 7/8 2002)
  • The ideas of life are stronger than those of architecture (Mario Botta)
  • In their compact form, my buildings probably meet people's need for security, a feeling that is once again one of the most important requirements for architecture in today's world, in which everyday life is becoming increasingly harder. ( NZZ Folio , Zurich: 09/1991)



  • 1997/1998: Mario Botta: The Project Museum Jean Tinguely Basel , Museum Jean Tinguely Basel
  • 2010/2011: Mario Botta. Architetture 1960-2010 , Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto (MART), Rovereto.
  • 2011: Mario Botta - Architecture and Memory , Center Dürrenmatt Neuchâtel
  • 2018: Spazio Sacro - Mario Botta , Pinacoteca Comunale Casa Rusca, Locarno


Literature about Botta

  • Emilio Battisti (Ed.): Mario Botta: architetture e progetti negli anni 70. Electa, Milan 1981.
  • Harriet S. Bee (Ed.): Mario Botta: exhibition. MOMA, New York 1987. ISBN 0-87070-258-0 .
  • Helena Bernal: Mario Botta . In: Andreas Kotte (ed.): Theater Lexikon der Schweiz - Dizionario Teatrale Svizzero. Volume 1, Chronos, Zurich 2005, ISBN 3-0340-0715-9 , p. 251 f. (Italian)
  • Gabriele Cappellato (Ed.): Mario Botta. Light and gravity. Architecture 1993-2003. Prestel Verlag, Munich 2003. ISBN 3-7913-3186-8 .
  • Philip Jodidio: Mario Botta. Taschen Verlag, Cologne 2003, ISBN 3-8228-2344-9 (brief overview of life and work with excellent color images and illustrations)
  • Emilio Pizzi (Ed.): Mario Botta. Zanichelli, Bologna 1991. ISBN 88-08-07228-2 .


Web links

Commons : Mario Botta  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Biography ( accessed on January 20, 2013
  2. ^ "New role for Ticino architect Mario Botta" , NZZ, September 1, 2011
  4. Gerhard Lob: Mario Botta set an example at Mendrisio's architecture academy - theater of architecture. Tessinerzeitung, Locarno February 9, 2018, p. 3
  5. List of honorary doctors of the Theological Faculty of the University of Friborg (Switzerland) ( Memento from August 7, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  6. Appointments in the Vatican , February 23, 2013
  8. Thermoselect system
  9. Garnet Chapel
  10. Lucerne newspaper of March 30, 2017
  11. Program December 22nd, 2018. Accessed August 28, 2019 .
  12. ^ Exhibition Mario Botta December 9, 1997 - April 20, 1998 on the website
  13. FAZ of November 3, 2010, page 32: Dressur des Monumentalismus
  14. Large special exhibition on architecture (1960-2010) by Mario Botta in the Center Dürrenmatt Neuchâtel April 2, 2011 - August 14, 2011
  15. Casa Rusca  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  16. originally published in Italy as: Architettura e ambiente. Note per una conferencea di Mario Botta. In: Mario Botta 1978-1982. Il laboratorio di architettura. Electa Editrice, Milano 1983, pp. 115-116