of Architecture






The Diploma work for the academic year 2009-2010 intends to explore the problems involved in the architectural and urban transformations of the city of Varese caused by the recent developments in its territory.
This project grew out of the conviction that the indispensable solution to the problems that arise in the organism of a city should be viewed in close relation to road infrastructures, landscape and the local context. This constitutes a unique opportunity for the design of new areas with architectural solutions that emphasize planning principles with a concern for the social fabric and an improved quality of life. This interpretation of the relationship between urban planning and architecture will be verified through the typological design of specific and defined spaces in different zones of the city, given prominence by the administrative policies of the City of Varese concerning issues that have long been debated and remain unresolved. Far-reaching transformations are planned in these areas of study, prefigured with new residential, cultural, sporting, tourist, religious, infrastructural, artisanal, commercial and social developments.
The territory of Varese is flat and dry due to its orographic development, unsuited to agriculture but favouring the development of industry. The city, located at the foot of the mountain complex of the Sacro Monte and the massif of Campo dei Fiori, has 84 000 inhabitants and has been the capital of the province of Varese since 1927.

It was a prehistoric settlement in 2000 B.C. and an important site in Roman times. In the eleventh century its original core became a market of some importance, as a meeting place for people from beyond the Alps and those in the plain for the exchange of agricultural and craft products. The sixteenth century saw the first development of the silk trade and in the early seventeenth century numerous manufactories were set up in the zone. The seventeenth century also created the Sacro Monte, a devotional path lined with fourteen chapels and culminating in the shrine of Santa Maria del Monte. In this same period the local nobility built rich residences facing the lake. In the late eighteenth century Varese became the seat of the ducal court of Francesco III of Este, administrator of the Duchy of Milan. In the second half of the nineteenth century rail links opened up new national outlets for local industries, while development outside the city walls began when a series of villages (the "castellane") begin to be fused with the city’s most ancient historical fabric. In these spaces villas in Liberty (Art Nouveau) style were built. After World War II expansion accelerated infill building in the urban fabric existing down to the present.

  • Director
    • Mario Botta
  • Professors in Charge
    • Francisco e Manuel
      Aires Mateus
    • Michele Arnaboldi
    • Martin Boesch
    • Esteban Bonell
    • Mario Botta
    • Marianne Bukhalter
    • e Christian Sumi
    • Antonio Citterio
    • Marc Collomb
    • Quintus Miller
    • Valerio Olgiati
    • Jonathan Sergison
  • Assistants
    • Ursula Bolli
    • Gianluca Gelmini


Aurelio Galfetti

Christoph Frank, Franz Oswald, Heinz Tesar


Enrico Arosio, Franco Barbieri, Michele Bardelli, Andrea Bassi, Carlo Bertelli, Roberta Besozzi, Riccardo Blumer, Pietro Boschetti, Roberto Briccola, Silvano Caccia, Raffaele Cavadini, Alessandra Coppa, Philippe Daverio, Paolo Fumagalli, Gianluca Gardelli, Chiara Gatti, Kersten Geers, Laura Gianetti, Franz Graf, Fulvio Irace, Bruno Keller, Marisa Masini, Mario Monotti, Elio Ostinelli, Pierluigi Panza, Attilio Panzeri, Ignacio Rubiño, Flora Ruchat-Roncati, Emanuele Sauerwein, Irene Maria Scalise, Adolph Stiller, Ruggero Tropeano, Luigi Zanzi

Panel of Judges