Università della Svizzera italiana - USI



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.

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.

Stefano Belingardi Clusoni

Founder & Architect, BE.ST Belingardi Stefano Architect

In order to help current students and recent graduates to find their way in the working world, many of our alumni shared their career story. Here the story of Stefano Belingardi Clusoni, Founder and Architect of BE.ST Belingardi Stefano Architect in Milan. USI Degree: Master in Architecture, 2012.
How did you start your career?
Stefano Belingardi Clusoni was born in Milan in 1987. He graduated from the Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio, Switzerland. He got an award for the Diploma project from the SIA A&C (architecture & culture) Jury.
In 2007 he worked at EMBT Miralles Tagliabue office in Barcelona, Spain and in 2009 at Cino Zucchi Architetti office in Milan, Italy. In 2010 he was selected for an Erasmus program at the Charles Rennie Mackintosh School of Art in Scotland were he got the bachelor. In 2011 he worked for Daniel Libeskind’s studio and in 2012 still for EMBT Miralles Tagliabue: he lived one year in Shanghai, China.
In 2013 with the winning of an international competition he founded his own studio BE.ST Belingardi Stefano Architect that today follows international scale projects in Italy and abroad. In 2020 he was selected within the best architects under 40 in Italy.

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.

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.

Academy key figures

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

Organizational units