13 July 2002
Spazio Culturale Antonio Ratti
Showing his most recent works, Mario Botta addresses wider themes linked to architecture and conservation. Architectural forms are always shaped by the landscape they are within, but thinking that architecture is an extension of nature would be a mistake. It is instead its negation: it is marked by the violence that turns nature into culture and that fulfills a necessity by generating images which translate certain values. Talking about the actual urbanistic state, he thinks that present times are weak times, as people tend to preserve anything and hesitate to build. “When there is possibility, it seems to me there is a duty to vindicate the legitimacy of the new. [...] There is no prohibited space at the interior of which the architect cannot intervene. Those nostalgic for the past are forever condemned to lose”. Despite “architecture has at its disposal the resources necessary to resist over time”, Botta summons the consciousness of having a limited leeway, of having the possibility of changing architecture, but not the world. The task of the artist is so that of working at the very best of his capabilities even recognizing the narrowness of his field of actions and the great contradictions in which he works.
Mario Botta (b. Mendrisio in 1943) is a swiss architect and sculptor. In his practice, the predilection towards natural materials and primal geometries implies an ethical conception of architecture, which has to be clear and to offer quality living values. Among his works, the Museum of Modern Art of San Francisco (1995); the Municipal Library of Dortmund (1999); the Cymbalista Synagogue and Hebraic Heritage Center of Tel Aviv (1998); the MART Museum of Rovereto (2002); the Kyobo Tower of Seoul (2003); the Tsinghua University Library in Beijing (2011) and the Theater of architecture in Mendrisio (2017). Among his accolades, the Chicago Architecture Award (1986); the European Prize for the Culture of Karlsruhe (1995); the “Urbanpromo” Prize at Milan Triennale (2015).