School in Morbio Inferiore
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Architect Mario Botta
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Location Morbio Inferiore, Switzerland
Date 1972 to 1977   timeline
Building Type school
 Construction System masonry
Climate temperate
Context suburban or rural
Style Modern
Notes Severe rectilinear forms softened by light from extensive clerestories.




Available on The GBC CD-ROM.

Discussion School in Morbio Inferiore Commentary

"This secondary school, the first of Botta's large-scale projects to be built, is the realization of a successful competition entry. Located on an extensive open area surrounded by rolling hills, the structure is divided into distinct elements composed to define a place. These elements are a gymnasium wing, with a long canopied entry, and a long classroom wing, splayed at an angle and separate, stretching north-south along the edge of a ravine. An outdoor amphitheater occupies the angle where gymnasium and classroom building meet."

— Stuart Wrede. Mario Botta. p42.

"The approach adopted in the subdivision of the teaching spaces into a repeated succession of functional blocks has become the pretext, moreover, by means of the rigorous serial order contained in the large linear block, for the proposal of a different hierarchy for the urban relationships of the constructions which, with this great signal, indicate the possible alternatives to the urban degradation of the surrounding countryside. Each block sets up its own dialogue with its surroundings by way of the transparency of the entrance portico which links the ample landscaped space in front of the building with the woods to the rear. In the interior, the functional autonomy of the individual teaching unit is characterised by the disposition of the four classrooms on the first floor, set on either side of the great portal, with visual communication between them by means of large glazed surfaces."

— Emilio Pizzi. Mario Botta: Works and Projects. p152.

The Creator's Words

"I believe that today making architecture is a way of resisting the loss of identity, a way of resisting the banalization, the flattening of culture brought about by the consumerism so typical of modern society. In this sense, architecture is more an ethical than an aesthetic phenomenon."

— Mario Botta. from Stuart Wrede. Mario Botta. p67.

Sources on School in Morbio Inferiore

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. ISBN 0-442-21668-8. LC 84-3543. NA2750.C55 1984. plan symmetry diagram, p177. — Updated edition available at

Emilio Pizzi. Mario Botta: Works and Projects. Second spanish/english edition. Barcelona: Gustavo Gill, S.A., 1991. ISBN 84-252-1448-3. NA1353.B67P5913 1992. p152.

Stuart Wrede. Mario Botta. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1986. ISBN 0-87979-258-0. LC 86-62324. NA1353.B67W74 1986. p42.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about School in Morbio Inferiore


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