Mario Botta is born in Mendrisio, Ticino, on April 1, 1943. After an apprenticeship in Lugano, he first attends the Art College in Milan and then studies at the University Institute of Architecture in Venice. Directed by Carlo Scarpa and Giuseppe Mazzariol he receives his professional degree in 1969. During his time in Venice he has the opportunity to meet and work for Le Corbusier and Louis I. Kahn. His professional activity begins in 1970 in Lugano. He builds his first single-family houses in Canton Ticino and subsequently all over the world. He has always committed himself in an intense architectural research and since 1996 he is involved as creator and founder of the new academy of architecture in Mendrisio, Ticino where he is Professor and held the directorship in 2002/2003.
His work has been recognized with important awards such as the Merit Award for Excellence in Design by the AIA for the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco; the International Architecture Award 2006 by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and the “European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage Europa Nostra”, The Hague (The Netherlands) for the restructuring of the Theatre alla Scala in Milan; the International Architecture Award 2007 by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design for the Church Santo Volto in Turin and the wellness centre Tschuggen Berg Oase in Arosa. His work has been presented in many exhibitions.
Among his realizations must be remembered the theatre and cultural center André Malraux in Chambéry, the library in Villeurbanne, the SFMOMA museum in San Francisco, the cathedral in Evry, the museum Jean Tinguely in Basel, the Cymbalista synagogue and Jewish heritage centre in Tel Aviv, the municipal library in Dortmund, the Dürrenmatt centre in Neuchâtel, the MART museum of modern and contemporary art of Trento and Rovereto, the Kyobo tower and the Leeum museum in Seoul, the office buildings Tata Consultancy Sercices in New Delhi and Hyderabad, the museum and library Fondation Bodmer in Cologny, the church Papa Giovanni XXIII in Seriate, the restoration of the Theatre alla Scala in Milan, the new casinò in Campione d’Italia, the church Santo Volto in Turin, the wellness centre Tschuggen Bergoase in Arosa, the Campari headquarters in Sesto San Giovanni, the winery Château Faugères in Saint-Emilion and the Bechtler museum in Charlotte, USA.
Architect and Professor of history of architecture, Milan Polytechnic
Fulvio Irace is a full professor of “History of Architecture” at Milan Polytechnic, where he holds the History of Contemporary Architecture chair at the Faculty of Civil Architecture and the Faculty of Design; he is also a visiting professor at the Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio, and a member of the board of teachers for the PhD course in “History of Architecture and Town Planning” at Turin Polytechnic.
He is a member of the scientific committee of the Vico Magistretti Foundation and is on the board of trustees of the Piano Foundation.
In 2008-2009 he was a member of the jury for the Mies van der Rohe European Prize.
From 2005 to 2009 he was a member of the Scientific Committee of the Milan Triennial and curator of the Architecture and Territory sector.
One of the founders of the national association AAI (Archivi di Architettura Italia – Italian Architectural Archives), he is one of the promoters of the “Architecture and Design” section of CASVA (Centro alti studi e valorizzazione delle arti – the Centre for Higher Studies and Valorisation of the Arts) of the Municipality of Milan.
Architectural editor for the publications “Domus” and “Abitare”, he has worked with the most important national and international magazines in the sector, and in 2005 was awarded the Inarch Bruno Zevi Prize for architectural criticism. Since 1986 he has been an opinionist in the field of architecture for the Sunday Supplement of “Il Sole 24 Ore”.
Attentive to the historiographies of Italian architecture between the two World Wars, to which he has dedicated much work through various exhibitions and publications, more recently his studies have concentrated on contemporary Italian architecture, and the figure of Renzo Piano, the subject of various monographs and an important exhibition at the Milan Triennial.
In the field of criticism and historical methodology he is the author of the following works: Dimenticare Vitruvio, 2001 and 2008; Le città visibili: Renzo Piano 2006; Divina Proporzione, 2007; Gio Ponti, 2009.
He has curated a number of architectural exhibitions.