Valerio Olgiati. Poetics of Gravity


Though trained at ETH Zurich during the years of Aldo Rossi’s chair, Valerio Olgiati (Cuera, 1958) has produced an oeuvre to a large extent removed from themes like type and context. Powerful in their schematism, monolithic in their materiality, exquisite in their details, Olgiati’s buildings are thought out less as pieces of the urban continuum, or as social and political instruments, than as emotional objects whose shapes arise from the composition process, and whose formal motifs and constructional solutions, strange at times, require the active participation – the ‘mental’ participation, says Olgiati – of the viewer. These features can be appreciated in the projects that come in the following pages, located in different contexts and all executed in reinforced concrete , from the Pearling Path Visitors Center in Bahrain to the residential building in the Swiss town of Zug, passing through the one-family house in Laax, in Switzerland too, and Villa Além, the architect’s second residence, in Portugal’s Alentejo region.

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