Ticinese Architecture in the World: Milestones and Protagonists 1970-2003

Featuring the work of Mario Botta, Mario Campi, Aurelio Galletti, Bruno Reichlin & Fabio Reinhart, Flora Ruchat-Roncati, Luigi Snozzi and Livio Vacchini, this exhibition runs from March 27th through April 23rd, 2008 in the David J. Azrieli Gallery at Carleton University.

International critics have paid particular attention to the architecture emerging from Switzerland’s Canton Ticino since the 1970s. This exhibition presents works which over the last 50 years have exemplified the output of Ticinese architects in their canton of origin, in Switzerland and abroad.

Organized in two sections – milestones and protagonists – it begins, in chronological order, with a selection of representative buildings constructed by different architects in Ticino, works that communicate the substance of this particular cultural phenomenon. The second section, covering the last 30 years, focuses on the most illustrious figures, those who have had the possibility to build and to teach beyond the confines of the canton, in Switzerland and other countries, contributing to the spread in the specialized press of a new version of the legend of the Comacine Masters: good builders, talented architects, professionals with an awareness of the material aspects of their work, who conduct research that has also enriched architecture on an international scale.

All these figures have something in common in terms of training: they see architecture as a discipline and architectural design as a practice of a continuous technical-humanist apprenticeship, open to multiple but selected cultural stimuli, where perceptive sensitivity to places permits the definition of the limits and prerogatives of invention. The important legacy of reflections of Italian-Swiss architecture of the late 20th century is also evident in the awareness that the discipline has a strong political side, in the conception of architecture as an activity of civil consciousness, with an ethical dimension, especially in cases of large projects on an urban or territorial scale.

The aim of this initiative is to present the outstanding examples of work from the variegated contemporary Ticinese architecture scene – which has played a decisive role in the disciplinary debate over the last few decades — and then to recall their “antecedents,” as well as examining more recent developments, offer an itinerary for a rich and stimulating experience.

Sketches, drawings, photographs, biographical notes, dissertations, videos of interviews with critics and leading Ticinese architects, as well as “architectural promenades” through 17 particularly significant buildings, offer an itinerary for a rich and stimulating experience.