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Botta, Mario

Botta, Mario (1943– ). Swiss architect, who worked with Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn in the 1960s, both of whom were influential in the development of his architecture, although Scarpa's designs also affected his thinking. He established his own practice in Lugano in 1969, and quickly made his name as one of the most influential members of the Ticino or Ticinese School with a series of private houses set alone in the landscape: these buildings have clear, powerful geometries and display fine craftsmanship. For instance, the house at Riva San Vitale (1971–3) is square on plan, has an asymmetrically placed central staircase, is monumental, and has deep and powerful voids in the elevations; the house at Ligornetto (1975–6) is elongated and boldly striped; while the Casa Rotondo, Stabio (1980–2), is a large drum with fenestration placed deep in the structure. Other houses at Pregassona (1979–80), Viganello (1980–2), Origlio (1981–2), Morbio Superiore (1982–4), Breganzona (1984–8), Manno (1975–90), and Losone (1987–9), are all brilliant exercises in themes that recall the search for a monumental stripped Classicism of the late C18 and early C19. His powerful Gothard Bank offices, Lugano (1982–8), which have four linked pavilions, each with a massive slot notched on its sides, points to his concerns to establish a formal language of Rational architecture with roots in geometry, order, and careful detail. More recently (1989–95) his Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA, and the Cathedral, Evry, France (completed 1995), have stark, simple geometries handled with consummate skill. His Bus Station, Lugano, Switzerland (2002–3), has attracted attention for its economy of means.

Bibliography

Botta (1991, 1997);
Dal Co (1987);
Jodidio (1999a);
Molinari et al . (1998);
Petit (1994);
Pizzi (ed.) (1994–8, 1997);
Sakellaridou (2000);
Wrede (1986)

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