of Architecture


Exhibitions 2008-09


Each year the Mendrisio Academy of Architecture presents a rich program of exhibitions. Officially opened in academic year 2005-2006, the Gallery hosts exhibitions on architecture, urban planning, art and photography: monographic exhibitions, devoted to professionals and artists with international reputations, rapidly growing cities, buildings with distinctive design histories. But the space is also used for illustrating the results of teaching and researches conducted by the Academy in collaboration with Foundations and Institutes.

  • Director
    • Valentin Bearth
  • Responsible
    • Stefania Murer
  • Logistics
    • Pasquale Carminati
    • Marco Corti
    • Francesco Talaia

The distinctive qualities of SANAA’s work – purist reduction, transparency, the dialogue of clear tones and horizontal and vertical superimpositions of strata – is found in the photographs of Walter Niedermayr, numbered among the most representative contemporary photographers. Architects and photographer deliberately omit the traditional contents of an architectural exhibition, such as sketches, drawings and models. Projections, furnishings and photographs evoke the visions and concepts of the Japanese partnership, enabling the visitors to enter their world in an unconventional way.

Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA

& Walter Niedermayr
16 settembre – 2 novembre 2008

The biennial international architectural Award, organized by the BSI Architectural Foundation with the support of the Federal Office of Culture of Berne and the Academy of Architecture of Mendrisio, is awarded to architects to under 50 years old, without distinction of nationality. The exhibition presented the 30 architects selected, whose work has made «a considerable contribution to contemporary architectural culture, displaying a particular sensibility for the landscape and the environmental context», and the winner of this first edition of the prize, the Paraguayan Solano Benitez. The catalog has been published by Mendrisio Academy Press.

BSI Swiss Architectural Award 2008 
13 November 2008 – 8 February 2009

promoted by
BSI Architectural Foundation
sponsored by
Federal Office of Culture
and Academy of Architecture
organizational coordination
Archivio del Moderno, Mendrisio

The exhibition presented a selection of seven built works and projects by the architect and docent from the Grisons. Models on a scale of 1:33, photographs and plans, outstanding images chosen from his “iconographic autobiography” revealed that Olgiati’s works originate in a complex intellectual process, only at the conclusion of which is it possible to shape the project through drafting. By working to reduce the use of materials, technologies and constituent elements, Olgiati creates an architecture which combines conceptual precision, finely crafted quality and artistic ability.

Valerio Olgiati
26 February – 13 April 2009

At the Academy of Architecture the students in their final year produce their diploma projects by focusing on a single territory chosen by the school. In 2008 the research territory set for all senior year students was “Ticino City”. The topic dealt with the territorial transformations and design of public spaces and developments of various kinds determined by the construction of the new Alptransit railway line. The exhibition presented a large territorial model, numerous photographs of the progress of work on Alptransit, and above all drawings and models of 22 Diploma works particularly representative of the teaching at Mendrisio. The exhibition not only provided a record of a true laboratory of architectural research, but aimed to foster discussion on the territorial organization of the whole Canton. The catalog has been published by Mendrisio Academy Press.

Diploma 2008.
The Alptransit and “Ticino City”
8 – 31 May 2009