Mario Botta

Mario Botta (* 1. April 1943 in Mendrisio, Kanton Tessin) ist ein Schweizer Architekt, Professor und Leiter der Accademia di Architettura der Università della Svizzera italiana in Mendrisio.

Life and work

At the age of 15, Botta completed an apprenticeship as a structural draughtsman with Tita Carloni and Luigi Camenisch in Lugano. At the age of 18 he was allowed to design and build the Catholic rectory in Genestrerio, after which he 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 under Carlo Scarpa and Giuseppe Mazzariol. During his studies, he worked with Le Corbusier on the Venice Hospital until the latter's death, the same year he opened his own architectural practice in Lugano. In his further training he had contact with the architectural legends Carlo Scarpa, Le Corbusier, Louis I. Kahn and Luigi Snozzi, whose influence is visible in many of his buildings. Botta is also regarded as the most important representative of the "Ticino School", which became known in the 1970s, and an admirer of Romanesque architecture.

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 formal language and components such as light and shadow. This combination makes the often massive buildings appear light and elegant. Many of his works can be found in his homeland, Ticino. However, Mario Botta is active worldwide.

In 1983, Mario Botta was appointed titular professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) and honorary member of the Association of German Architects BDA. He played a major role in founding the Department of Architecture (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 head of the Accademia di Architettura; he succeeded Valentin Bearth, an architect from Graubünden.

Private life

Botta is married and the father of three children, who have worked with him since 1998. He has lived and worked in Mendrisio since 2011.

Honours and awards

1983: Honorary Member of the AIA American Institute of Architects 2006: Honorary doctorate from the University of Fribourg 2013: Appointment to the Pontifical Academy of Fine Arts and Letters by Pope Benedict XVI. 2018: Joseph Ratzinger Prize


A master of precision, no fugue 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 correspond to man's need for security, a feeling that is once again one of the most important requirements of architecture in today's world, where everyday life is becoming ever harder. (NZZ Folio, Zurich: 09/1991)


  • 1961-1963: Rectory, Genestrerio
  • 1965-1968: Residence, Stabio
  • 1970-1971: Casa Caccia, Cadenazzo
  • 1971-1973: Casa Bianchi, Riva San Vitale
  • 1972-1977: Secondary school, Morbio Inferiore
  • 1976-1979: Library of the Capuchin Monastery, Lugano
  • 1978-1981: Head office of the Fribourg Cantonal Bank, Fribourg im Üechtland
  • 1980-1981: Casa Rotonda - Medici, Stabio
  • 1982-1988: Banca BSI (ex Banca del Gottardo), Lugano
  • 1984-1988: Residential building, Breganzona
  • 1986-1990: Residential and office building - Via Ciani, Lugano
  • 1986-1995: Bank building of UBS / BIZ at Aeschenplatz, Basel
  • 1986-1996: Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista, Mogno
  • 1987-1989: Residential building, Losone
  • 1987-1992: Chiesa Parrocchiale Beato Odorico, Pordenone
  • 1987-1996: Office building Banque Bruxelles Lambert, Geneva
  • 1987: House Lützowplatz 1 (Block 234) in Berlin (as part of the International Building Exhibition 1987)
  • 1988-1995: Cathedral of Évry
  • 1988-2002: Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto (MART), Rovereto
  • 1989-1993: Residential and commercial building Luzernerstrasse, Zofingen
  • 1989-1995: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
  • 1990-1996: Santa Maria degli Angeli, Monte Tamaro
  • 1990-2000: Residential and commercial building La Fortezza, Maastricht
  • 1990-2004: Urban planning ideas competition 1993 for Alexanderplatz in Berlin (participation in the competition)
  • 1990-2006: Casinò, Campione d'Italia
  • 1992-2000: Renovation of the Centre Dürrenmatt, Neuchâtel
  • 1992-2004: Library for Werner Oechslin, Einsiedeln
  • 1993-1996: Museum Tinguely, Basel
  • 1995-1999: City and regional library, Dortmund
  • 1997-1998: Office and production building of the company Benkert, Altershausen
  • 1998-2001: National Bank of Greece, Athens
  • 1998-2003: Extension - Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cologny
  • 1998: Cymbalista Synagogue, Tel Aviv
  • 1999-2001: Harting distribution building, Minden
  • 1999-2001: Mountain chapel Azzano di, Seravezza
  • 1999: Temporary church model San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane on Lago di Lugano, Lugano (for the 400th birthday of Francesco Borromini, removed again in 2003)
  • 2000-2001: Canopy of the central bus stop, Lugano
  • 2000-2009: Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Charlotte
  • 2000: Thermoselect plant, Ansbach (not completed)
  • 2001-2004: Modernization and extension of the "Teatro alla Scala", Milan
  • 2001-2006: Chiesa del Santo Volto, Turin
  • 2003-2006: Extension Grand Hotel Tschuggen, Arosa
  • 2005-2009: Winery Château Faugères, Saint-Étienne-de-Lisse
  • 2005, 2010-2017: Teatro dell'architettura, Academy of Architecture, Mendrisio
  • 2011-2013: Garnet Chapel on the Granatalm, Penkenjoch (west of Mayrhofen), Zillertal
  • 2013-2017: panoramic restaurant Fiore di pietra (stone flower), Monte Generoso
  • 2019-2021: HC Ambrì-Piotta stadium


  • 1977: First exhibition of his projects and buildings at the Technical University of Vienna
  • 1979: Columbia University New York
  • 1997/1998: Mario Botta: The Museum Jean Tinguely Basel Project, 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, Centre Dürrenmatt Neuchâtel
  • 2018: Spazio Sacro - Mario Botta, Pinacoteca Comunale Casa Rusca, Locarno


  • Buildings and projects. DVA, Stuttgart 1982. ISBN 3-421-02818-4.
  • Una casa. Electa, Milan 1989. ISBN 88-435-2983-8.
  • Ethics of building. Birkhäuser, Basel 1997. ISBN 3-7643-5742-8.
  • with Markus Breitschmid (ed.) and afterword: Architecture and the Ambient. (= Texts on Architecture and Art, vol. 2), Virginia Tech Architecture Publications, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA 2013, ISBN 978-0-9893936-5-2


  • 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.
  • Mario Botta seen by Pino Musi, with a text by Fulvio Irace. Daco Verlag, Stuttgart (1996)
  • Helena Bernal: Mario Botta. In: Andreas Kotte (ed.): Theaterlexikon der Schweiz - Dizionario Teatrale Svizzero. Vol. 1, Chronos, Zurich 2005, ISBN 3-0340-0715-9, pp. 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 (concise overview of life and work with excellent color illustrations). illustrations)
  • Emilio Pizzi (ed.): Mario Botta. Zanichelli, Bologna 1991. ISBN 88-08-07228-2.


  • 1991: Faces of Switzerland by Matteo Bellinelli et al. Documentary film for the 700th anniversary of the Swiss Confederation. Episode: Mario Botta


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Critical Regionalism
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Mario Botta


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This page was last changed on 2021-09-21.