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Skip to 0 minutes and 11 seconds A strategic position, a special position, given by its location, which means that you can’t build the restaurant that you would build on a plateau or in any field, it’s something completely different, so what we did, or at least tried to do, was to build something that could reinforce the topos, the rock that rises and that at the top of the mountain becomes a flower of stone, yielding a 360 degree exposure, where on one side it seizes the ground, but on the other it gives also an external 360-degree projection. Therefore, the theme is very spiritual, it’s something that whoever visits this mountain top can’t avoid feeling.

Skip to 1 minute and 17 seconds The visitor feels the limits of the land, and feels them as an interpretation beyond infinity; and this is a beautiful theme for the architect, which is akin to that of the church, where these values are inside a built element, whereas in this case there is the theme of the landscape that is likewise strong, it’s there like a rarity, a purity in the ascension that you perceive and that you see below in these dwellings of collective living, where people bicker, and you are up there, above this poverty of human misery.

Skip to 2 minutes and 18 seconds There is a second element, which for me was very important, but very subjective, that is that the Generoso is my mountain; I was born in the Mendrisiotto region, in Genestrerio, so during my childhood, when we would go out, the mountain was the Generoso; during our teenage years, we would go up from Salorino at night and wait four hours, waiting for the crack of dawn, the sunrise, almost like moments of initiation of life, of adolescence; this aspect, which is very personal, played an important role, because sixty years later I rediscovered the Generoso summit through the eyes of my life experience, of my transformations, of my adulthood.

"Il Fiore di pietra" (2) (Stone Flower)

Interviewer’s question: “Let’s take one of your most recent works: the “Stone flower” on the Monte Generoso. What is the process an architect follows to bring to completion such a big project?”

In the second part of the video about the “Stone flower”, Mario Botta focuses on the challenge they had to face in this work, trying to make the visitors feel the limits of the land.

Find one picture of a building where you can see a strong relationship between the building itself and the surrounding environment, as in the case of the “Stone flower”. Post the picture through Padlet and explain it (please remember to add your name to the post).

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Mario Botta: To Be an Architect

Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI)

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