MARIO BOTTA

“I believe that good architecture is always a critical interpretation of context. It’s always a question of making any new intervention an integral part of the cultural and historical situation of the site. Every epoch needs to interpret, to reread, to understand its past. It’s not possible to protect the past. All we can do is offer new interpretations of it.”

„There are no aesthetics without ethics, there are no immoral aesthetics.”

„To build is a sacred act, an action that transforms a condition of nature into a condition of culture,”

„I think architecture is a civil duty that relates to mankind, a social duty that concerns society and an ethical duty, as architecture can represent values related to the way we live,”

„Architecture is the shape of history,”

„Therefore it has to portray the expectations, hopes and contradictions of its own time.”

„Architecture is a discipline that gives an order to the space in our life, therefore it can give a structure to the organisation of the space,”
„Heidegger once said that man can only live when he is able to orient himself in a space, that’s why the buildings in our cities have to offer some reference points that enable man to know his own space. You feel more comfortable when you are able to control the space around you.”

„The main idea of protection is part of architecture,”…”Home remains in our subconscious as our shelter, our protection and these values are very important in a discipline like architecture.”

„I don’t think we can talk about natural world. The natural world is already modified by man’s work and is constantly changing.”
„There are good examples like the Masters of Rationalism and Le Corbusier, who aimed to improve the quality of life,”… „Then, there are others who work with rubbish.”
„Louis Kahn was the one who understood the limits of technological development and the need for going back to the origins,”

„The primitive still exists in what’s new in the society,” … „Architecture has the ability to demonstrate these primitive values and this is something really important for me.”

„I like to observe the relationship between architecture and time,” „I think that spaces can represent metaphoric and symbolic values that mankind needs.”

„I never talk about religion as it’s all about spirituality for me,”

„The role of the house is present 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” … „Modern rationalism used to focus its studies on the construction of the house, but now home is nothing but a subject of speculation for investors and this is negative for the society.”

„I do think architecture lives beyond its function,” … „It gives shape to history.”

„It is obvious that if the new architects, the new engineers think in technological terms, the conflict with the ecologists is bound to keep expanding. Whoever constructs, destroys nature, and thus intervention of any kind is always seen as something negative. The real problem, however, seems to me to be to cultivate an understanding that construction transforms only a part of nature, that it should engage in dialogue with nature, and that it is up to us, to this generation, to find the way to resolve the conflict with the stubbornly conservative and their committment to anything which was built in the past.”

„The moderns all shared the belief that architecture could play a major role in the shaping of society. In my opinion, the modern movement did not betray this belief; the movement itself was betrayed. Industrial society lost sight of the original objectives and forced man to conform to the laws of technology and mechanization. In this sense, we can fault the modern movement for failing in its goals.”

„I believe that today making architecture is a way of resisting the loss of identity, a way of resisting the banalization, the flattening of culture brought about by the consumerism so typical of modern society. In this sense, architecture is more an ethical than an aesthetic phenomenon.”

“…I believe that if architecture is without these avenues, these ways out, where an architectonic object might serve to revive discussion of its destiny, of the morphology of other areas, in the long run you end up producing nothing more than caricatures, In a sense it begins with this conception of the facade as something which belongs neither to the interior nor the exterior: architecture’s separating off its different parts in this way has always been damaging. I have always learnt from history, from the greats of the past: the greater the synergy, the closer you come to the problems themselves and not a caricature of them….When you construct a block of apartments it’s because you’ve designed the street. When you produce a facade it’s because you’ve designed the square. When you produce a Pavilion it’s because you’ve thought out the park, and so on.

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