Mario Botta was born in Mendrisio, Ticino, on April 1, 1943. After an apprenticeship in Lugano, he attended first 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. From that time he has taught extensively, giving lectures, seminars and courses in many schools of architecture throughout 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 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.
Beginning with single-family houses in Ticino, his work has evolved to include many other building typologies, such as schools, banks, administration buildings, libraries, museums and places of worship.
Mr. Botta’s most notable works include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, USA; the Cathedral of the Resurrection in Evry, France; the Museum Tinguely in Basel, Switzerland; the Cymbalista Synagogue and Jewish Heritage Center in Tel Aviv, Israel; the Central Library of Dortmund, Germany; the The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto (MART) in Rovereto, Italy; the Kyobo Tower and the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea; the Tata Consultancy Services offices in New Delhi and Hyderabad, India; the Papa Giovanni XXIII church in Seriate, Italy; the restoration of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy; the Santo Volto church in Turin, Italy; the Tschuggen Bergoase Wellness Centre in Arosa, Switzerland; the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte, USA; the Campari headquarters and residences in Sesto San Giovanni, Italy; the Tsinghua University library and the Tsinghua University Art Museum in Beijing, China; the urban planning of the Ex Appiani area in Treviso, Italy; the Twelve at Hengshan hotel in Shanghai, China and the recently inaugurated Fiore di Pietra Restaurant on Monte Generoso, Switzerland.
His work is recognised worldwide and has been presented in many exhibitions. Honorary member of many cultural institutions, Mr. Botta has been awarded honorary degrees from various universities in Argentina, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Brazil and Switzerland.
In 1996, Mr. Botta was a founder and key influence of the Academy of architecture in Mendrisio, where he continues to teach, and where he was Dean in 2002-2003 and again in 2011-2013.
As part of Mr. Botta’s dedication to the promotion of the cultural debate on architecture, he has designed the Teatro dell’Architeturra in Mendrisio, Switzerland, which opened in October, 2018