Università della Svizzera italiana - USI

Academy of Architecture of Università della Svizzera italiana

At the Academy of Architecture, study follows an interdisciplinary educational model. Learning through practical and creative design work is complemented by courses in history and the humanities. Our goal is to train humanist and generalist architects, capable of coping with the complex needs of today’s design world with skill, flexibility and a critical eye.
Lectures, meetings, exhibitions and publications are valued opportunities for further development that the school offers students. Field trips are held every semester to explore projects built in the places for which they were designed.

Calendar

Stories

Valentina Moretti

After graduating from the Academy, I started my professional career first in Switzerland, in Mario Botta’s practice, then in the United States, in New York, in the offices of Richard Meier and Anderson Architects. In 2009 I returned to Italy to expand the family business and devote myself in particular to developing an innovative project that uses prefabrication in residential and quality construction. This gave rise to More, of which I am now the creative director. In 2015 the firm received the ADI Index Award for Innovation. In recent years, More has integrated interior architecture into its services, dealing with private residences, hotels, restaurants and public buildings. Year after year I had the opportunity to expand my role in the company, until I was appointed Vice President of Moretti SpA, as well as dealing with the organisation of the work and personnel policies.

Elettra Carnelli

During my studies at the Academy I began to be interested in the effects, material and other, of urban and architectural projects on the built environment. After the Diploma I continued to explore these issues in my professional work, experimenting with different scales and approaches of intervention. I then moved to Zurich, where I worked on competitions and projects for various architectural firms. Since 2018 I have been supporting the design work with teaching and research in the Urban Design course of the Technische Universität of Munich. Through these experiences I was able to explore different ways of thinking about and communicating architecture and urban planning, which motivated me to experiment even outside the strictly professional sphere, contributing to events and workshops aimed at interdisciplinary exchanges.

Paolo Catrambone

During my studies at the Mendrisio Academy and in the early years after my Diploma, I had broadly different work experiences, travelling between Spain, Portugal, Japan and Switzerland. In 2018 I moved to Basel, where today I work as a project architect in the office of Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron. The years spent in the Academy have been crucial in my personal and professional growth. The school’s educational approach, generalist and humanist, made me aware of the responsibilities of our profession and of how important a vision of architecture as a cultural practice can be in contemporary society. During my years of study I had the opportunity to work in Lisbon, first in the office of Gonçalo Byrne then that of João Nunes. The encounter with Portugal gave a very solid basis to my training, approaching the themes of the city, the voids and the landscape that today, after many years, I feel rooted in my design thinking. The encounter with Portuguese architecture and with the great generosity of its professionals was also possible thanks to the internship year that was part of my undergraduate course. With great pleasure that today I realize the importance that this period of compulsory internship had in the training at the Academy. Working for at least a year, while studying, first of all allows a first comparison with the reality of the profession, then helps clarify one’s interests and finally it offers a great opportunity to build relationships in an exciting but also very demanding world.

Giorgio Villa

Architect based in London, he received his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from the Mendrisio Academy of Architecture, where he studied under the main guidance of Mario Botta and Peter Zumthor. After graduating, he has gained international experience in Italy, Japan, Switzerland, United States and United Kingdom working on a wide range of projects from domestic scale to infrastructure. From 2012 to 2014 he worked at Richard Meier & Partners in New York City on prestigious large-scale projects such as the recently completed Jesolo Hotel in Italy and Engel & Völkers new headquarters in Hamburg. His most notable involvement was with the Reforma Towers, an over 1 million square feet mixed use office and hotel complex in downtown Mexico City. In 2015 he joined Foster + Partners in London where he has been involved in several major projects including the expansion of the New Doha International Airport, Two Central Square development in Cardiff and Shams Towers in Abu Dhabi. Furthermore, he has also been part of the team designing the next generation of Apple Global Flagship Store, developing an innovative carbon fiber roof.

Yashar Yashar

Born in 1993 in Tehran (Iran), after living in México, Switzerland and Holland, in 2017 he graduated from the Mendrisio Academy of Architecture. In 2018 he partnered with Ruben Valdez (who graduated from the Academy in 2011) to open their own practice, Yektajo & Valdez. Since then they have worked on various projects, mainly residential and touristic in the Americas and Europe.

Academy key figures

817Enroled students in 2020
40Represented nations
Students
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
97%
of students who graduate from the Academy find work within 1 year of completing the Diploma
1/9
student-teacher ratio
41
courses devoted to the humanities

Organizational units