The antiquity of new: interview with architect Mario Botta
Discussing styles and trends in mainstream architecture with Mario Botta, would be like asking one of his works to speak the labyrinthine language of a shopping mall.
We’re in one of his buildings, the Campari headquarters in Sesto San Giovanni, whose style Mario Botta jokingly defines as “post-antique”, in contrast with the post-modern trend.
It’s the starting point from which Botta explains his anthropological approach to architecture, intended as a way of recovering essential values for the life of mankind. An architecture of simple forms that aspire to create a context marked by the contrast of natural elements.
Summarizing his entire biography in just a few lines is no small feat. Among the most noted architects on an International scale, Mario Botta (Mendrisio, 1943) is an interpreter of the lessons of the Modernist Movement, the pupil of great masters such as Le Corbusier, Louis I. Kahn and Carlo Scarpa. At only 27 years of age he opens his first studio in Lugano, Switzerland, in 1970. Since then he has undertaken an intense International scientific and didactic activity.
He ideated and founded the Architecture Academy in Mendrisio (active since 1996), where he was born and still lives, teaches and works.
Library of the science University of Tsinghua (Beijing). Photo © Fu Xing