Mario Botta - St John the Baptist Church

Mogno - Fusio (CH), 1986 - 1992



Born in Mendrisio, Switzerland, in 1943, Mario Botta studied at the Istituto Universitario di Architecttura
in Venice. During this same period he worked as
an assistant to Le Corbusier and, then, to Louis I. Kahn.
He opened his own practice in Lugano, Switzerland,
in 1970.

Botta's works characteristically show respect for topographical conditions and regional sensibilities and
his designs generally emphasize craftsmanship and geometric order. Botta built exclusively in Switzerland during his early career, gaining international acclaim
for such buildings as the
Capuchin convent in Lugano,
Craft Centre in Balerna and the Administration Building for the Staatsbank in Fribourg.

Since the 1980's Botta has secured many international commissions and is among the most noted architects
on an international scale. He is considered one of the world’s foremost architects of churches and museums.

Among his works, the Maison du livre, de l’image et du son (Villeurbanne, France, 1984-1988), the Modern Art Museum (San Francisco, U.S., 1989-1995) the Resurrection Cathedral (Evry, France, 1992-1995),
the Centre Friedrich Dürrenmatt (Neuchâtel, Switzerland, 1992-2000, the  M.A.R.T. – Museum of modern
and contemporary art of Trento and Rovereto (Rovereto, Italy, 1988-2002), the Samsung Art Museum (Seoul, South Korea, 1995-2004), the Santo Volto Church (Turin, Italy, 2004-2006) the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art (Charlotte,U.S, 2010).

In addition to his practice, Mario Botta has served as a visiting professor at the Ecole Polytechnic Federale in Lausanne, Switzerland, for the past ten years.

In 1982, he was made a member of the Swiss Federal Commission of Fine Arts and, in 1983, became an honorary fellow of the Bund Deutscher Architeckten (BDA). The American Institute of Architects (AIA) conferred honorary fellowship upon Mario Botta in 1984. Today, Mario Botta continues his active lecturing in Europe. North America, and Latin America.


THE MOGNO CHURCH is made from alternating layers
of local stones: Peccia's marble and Riveo's granite (dark). It was very controversial, but eventually became
a landmark that is known far beyond the borders
of Switzerland. The church has no windows, and
the interior (which seats about 15 people) is only illuminated by natural light streaming in through the glass roof.


Mogno is a small hamlet in the Maggia Valley (Val Lavizzara) at 1,180 m, which has only been used as
a Maiensäss (assembly of houses in the mountains used during the cattle grazing period) since the 19th century.

In 1986 an avalanche destroyed the church and about
a dozen houses that were fortunately uninhabited.
In the 1990s the architect rebuilt the small church, which
is dedicated to John the Baptist.





Directors: Liliana Carugati, Lorenzo Baldi

Photography: Liliana Carugati, Lorenzo Baldi

Camera: Lorenzo Baldi

Editing: Lorenzo Baldi

Music: Music: Benjamin Starnberg, Hans Gehringer, Hansruedi Schenk - Sonoton



Production Standard: Shot and edited UHD 25p

Camera: Panasonic GH4

Lenses: Sigma 16-35 mm f1,8, Tokina 11-16 mm f2,8, Nikkor 70-300 mm f4,5-5,6, Metabones Speedbooster

Supports: Vinten

Codec: .mov H264 100 Mbps

Postproduction: Final Cut Pro X