Architects, not Architecture: Mario Botta

Architects, not Architecture decided to open their archive to help us cope with the current situation of not being able to go out as usual and create a source of inspiration and entertainment through sharing one of the unique talks from their previous 35 events, which have never been published before – including those of architects like Daniel Libeskind, Tatiana Bilbao, Sadie Morgan, Peter Cook, Richard Rogers and Massimiliano Fuksas.

Every week, Archdaily will be sharing one of the Architects, not Architecture. talks which they are currently publishing online in the form of daily full-length video uploads as part of their “new event”: Home Edition 2020 (

Archdaily’s pick for this week: Mario Botta

“One becomes an architect through one’s work, but also through encounters, through the work of others.” These are the words the Swiss architect, Mario Botta, chose to begin his talk with. He talks about the most impactful of these encounters and shares his own personal experience of becoming and being an architect. Listen to his stories loaded with appreciation and admiration for others and learn what it took to make him become the architect he is today.

Mario Botta participated among two other speakers at the second AnA-Event in Berlin, Germany. After his studies in Milan and Venice, where he had met and collaborated with Le Corbusier and Louis I. Kahn in 1969, he began his own architectural activities in Lugano, Switzerland. His work ranges from his signature single-family houses in the canton of his origin, Ticino, over public buildings like schools, banks, libraries and museums all the way to sacred buildings. Apart from running his architecture studio, he teaches extensively by giving lectures, seminars and courses in architectural schools in Europe, Asia, North- and South America. In 1996, he is one of the founders of the Academy of architecture of the Università della Svizzera Italiana in Mendrisio, where he still teaches and held the directorship.Since the beginning of his career, his work has been recognized internationally and honored with prestigious awards, besides being presented in numerous exhibitions and publications.

Enjoy this week’s videos and make sure to stick around to not miss any upcoming talks. For their daily videos, visit:

About Architects, not Architecture

Founded in Hamburg in 2015, Architects, not Architecture. aims to bring to the stage what usually goes unseen. For each event they invite three well-known architects, who instead of talking about their award-winning international projects, are asked to talk about themselves. They speak about their path, their influences and experiences, and dive deeper into their intellectual biography. This enables a better understanding of their work, without them even mentioning it.

Most of us find it difficult to speak about the relevant experiences and the impact they had on us. But isn’t it the encounters, the unique experiences, the harsh times, the wild years at university, that one friend, teacher or family member that shaped our values and thus the person we are today? And isn’t it these values that influence how and what we create?

At least this is what Architects, not Architecture. (AnA) believes, which is why they created the event format that has expanded to multiple European cities over the past five years. Each architect is asked to talk about themselves and their individual path without mentioning their work. It is admittedly hard to do so in front of hundreds of unfamiliar faces when you are only used to talking about architecture in such a setting. 

We are used to seeing talks about their work, now we will have the opportunity to get to know their architecture from a very different and personal perspective.

About this author
Cite: Diego Hernández. "Architects, not Architecture: Mario Botta" 06 May 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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