Mario Botta was born in Mendrisio, Ticino, on April 1, 1943. After an apprenticeship in Lugano, he first attended the Art College in Milan and then studied at the University Institute of Architecture in Venice. Directed by Carlo Scarpa and Giuseppe Mazzariol he received his professional degree in 1969. During his time in Venice he had the opportunity to meet and work for Le Corbusier and Louis I.Kahn.
His professional activity began in 1970 in Lugano and since then he has carried out an intense teaching activity with lectures, seminars and courses in many schools of architecture of Europe, Asia, the United States and Latin America. He served as visiting professor at the Polytechnic Institute of Lausanne in 1976 and at the Yale School of Architecture in New Haven (USA) in 1987.
In 1983 he was appointed professor of the Swiss Polytechnic Schools. From 1982 to 1987 was member of the Swiss Federal Commission of Fine Arts. From the single-family houses in Ticino his work has comprised many other building typologies such as: schools, banks, administration buildings, libraries, museums and sacred buildings.
Among his realizations must be remembered the SFMOMA museum in San Francisco; the cathedral of the Resurrection in Evry; the museum Jean Tinguely in Basel; the Cymbalista Synagogue and Jewish Heritage Centre in Tel Aviv; the municipal library in Dortmund; the MART museum in Rovereto; the Kyobo tower and the Leeum museum in Seoul; the office buildings Tata Consultancy Services in New Delhi and Hyderabad; the church Papa Giovanni XXIII in Seriate; the restoration of the Theatre alla Scala in Milan; the church Santo Volto in Turin; the wellness centre
Tschuggen Bergoase in Arosa; the Bechtler art museum in Charlotte; the Campari headquarters and residences in Sesto San Giovanni; the Tsinghua University library and the Tsinghua Art Museum in Beijing; the urban planning of the ex Appiani area in Treviso; the Hotel Twelve in Shanghai and the recently inaugurated restaurant Fiore di Pietra on Monte Generoso.
His work is recognized worldwide and has been presented in many exhibitions. Honorary member of many cultural institutions, he was awarded the honorary degree in different universities of Argentina, Greek, Rumania, Bulgaria, Brazil and Switzerland.
In 1996 he was among the prime movers and founders of the Academy of architecture in Mendrisio where he still teaches and was dean in 2002-2003 and 2011-2013. A further instrument for the promotion of the cultural debate on architecture is the Theatre of architecture in Mendrisio, that started its activity in October 2018.
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