An unprecedented and extraordinary conversation that takes us to the foundations of the design of the great Ticinese architect, famous for the reconstruction of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the MART in Rovereto and the MoMA in San Francisco. Botta reveals how only in maturity and through the design of sacred spaces did he definitively acquire the basic principles of his discipline: the perimeter, the wall, the threshold, gravity, light, transparency, the relationship between finite and infinite. These are essential themes in the construction of liveable spaces, on a human scale: points of resistance and new beginnings, in the face of the many deviations in the evolution of cities.
Mario Botta was born in Mendrisio in 1943. After a period of apprenticeship in Lugano, he attended an art high school in Milan and continued his studies at the University Institute of Venice, where he graduated in 1969 with Carlo Scarpa and Giuseppe Mazzariol as his thesis supervisors. During his time in Venice, he had the opportunity to meet and work for Le Corbusier and Louis I. Kahn. In 1970 he opened his own office in Lugano and, at the same time, he also engaged in an intense educational activity with conferences, seminars and courses at architecture schools in Europe, Asia, the United States and Latin America. Starting from his designs of detached houses in Canton Ticino, his work has embraced many building types: schools, banks, administrative buildings, libraries, museums and religious buildings. Since the beginning of his career, his work has been recognised and awarded prizes internationally, as well as being featured in numerous exhibitions and publications. In 1996, he was among the founders of the Mendrisio Academy of Architecture, where he still teaches and has held the position of dean. His commitment as an architect and professor combined with the role of President of the jury of the BSI Architectural Award and his current dedication to the building of the Theatre of Architecture, enable him to transmit the knowledge of a profession that is above all a passion.