Livio Vacchini - Switzerland

Livio Vacchini (02.27.1933 - 02.04.2007) studied architecture 1953-1958 at the ETH Zurich. After spending two years abroad in Stockholm and Paris,
he founded his own architecture studio in Locarno. At first he worked closely with Luigi Snozzi. Later he had guest professorships at the ETH Zurich (1976)
and at the Polytechnic University of Milan (1982). From 1995, he operated an office in Basel together with Silvia Gmür. Since his death, the studio is run by his daughter Eloisa Vacchini.

Vacchini was an important representative of the so-called Tendenza in the canton Ticino. In 1975 he became internationally known with the exhibition "Architecture of rebellion" in Zurich.
Mario Botta, Luigi Snozzi and Aurelio Galfetti were known as architects of the Tendenza together with Livio Vacchini. Contrary to the prevailing notion it became soon apparent
that the individual members of this movement used to follow their own expression. Together, the architects of Tendenza were committed against the urban sprawl of the canton Ticino.

In comparision with his colleagues, the work of Livio Vacchini is considered to be probably the bulkiest. His buildings are classically thought but
uncompromisingly executed.
With his designs and buildings he soon questioned architectural fashions of the time. So he ventured a creative confrontation with the postmodernist tendencies of that time.
His starting points were
the rationalism of Mies van der Rohe and the constructive logic of Louis I. Kahn. Evidence of this creative confrontation are for example the school building
of Montagnola, in which he dealt with the antiquity, or the Casa Rezzonico in Vogorno in the Verzasca valley, where he worked with the local
context.

In the nineties the architectural language of Livio Vacchini became increasingly rigorous. Thus the gym in Losone appears as a reinterpretation of the revolutionary classicism
in the spirit of late modernism.
His preference for abstraction announced already in 1985 with the table-like studio building in Locarno. Now the abstraction was even heightened
in the mirror monolith of the post office building
on the Piazza Grande in Locarno. It is therefore not surprising that Vacchini celebrated successes abroad, particularly in France.
Although the failure of his grandiose project for a new town hall
in Nice (with Silvia Gmür) was a pain for him. He did not give up, even when his 1997 award-winning design
for the new crystalline synagogue in Dresden remained unfulfilled.


The extreme coherence of theme and practice is considered to be one of the key characteristics of Livio Vacchinis desings. Each project is conceived ideally as the continuation of modern tradition.
He followed the lines of research explored by modern architects of the classical tradition, like Auguste Perret, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Louis Kahn.
With the mentioned abstraction in all his designs, he reached an extreme reduction of structural elements. He himself was convinced, that the most important values of his works
lie precisely in their intentional "untimeliness". He was completely indifferent to novelty, interested only in respecting an inner coherence. This made him far detached from the chatter
and gossip of the world of architecture of our time.

1984 - 1986  Apartment and Office Building Casa Alfredo - Dietlikon
1992 - 1993  Apartment Building Rue Albert - Paris

2005 - 2012  Sports Centre Mülimatt - Brugg-Windisch