* 01 April 1943, Swiss, Architect
I cannot remember how many times I called Mario Botta, before he granted me an interview. He lives in another world, in his own world. I have the feeling that everything and everyone constantly upsets him. His workspaces in Lugano are also from another world – they are bombastic. Mr. Botta gives me exactly seven minutes of his time – with a perfectly straight face.
Mario Botta was born in 1943 in Mendrisio, Switzerland. He designed his first buildings at age 16, a two-family house at Morbio Superiore in Ticino. While the arrangements of spaces in this structure is inconsistent, its relationship to its site, separation of living from service spaces, and deep window recesses echo of what would become his stark, strong, towering style. His designs tend to include a strong sense of geometry, often being based on very simple shapes, yet creating unique volumes of space. His buildings are often made of brick, yet his use of material is wide, varied, and often unique.
Amongst other buildings, he designed the National Bank of Greece, Athens, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Charlotte, NC, and the church Santa Maria degli Angeli, Monte Tamaro, Switzerland.