Mazzocchioo.Talks#8. The architecture of Valerio Olgiati

Conference on the stage of the Romanian Athenaeum, Bucharest

Octomber 20, 2022

On October 19th, 2022, at 19h00, local time, the eighth edition of Mazzocchioo Talks took place at the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest, where the Swiss architect Valerio Olgiati gave a conference in front of a 750 people audience.

This year's edition of Mazzocchioo Talks was supported by: the Romanian Order of Architects through the Architecture Stamp, Bucharest Architecture Annual 2022, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the first edition, the "Ion Mincu" University of Architecture and Urbanism (UAUIM), the Swiss Embassy in Romania, Swiss Sponsors' Fund Romania, ProHelvetia.

This conference is part of the series already initiated by Mazzocchioo magazine so far, following the conferences given by RA Arkitektur (Norway), GAFPA (Belgium), Neven Fuchs (Norway), ArchitectureBrio (Netherlands-India), Ryan Kennihan (Ireland), Raphael Zuber (Switzerland), Starh & Poster (Romania); they can be consulted here:

After the presentation of the conference, Valerio Olgiati was awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa by the Senate of UAUIM, with laudatio from prof.dr.arch. Iulia Stanciu. The involvement of UAUIM in this conference is emblematic for the access to the architectural contemporary professional culture offered to Romanian students.

During the eighth edition of Mazzocchioo Talks, Valerio Olgiati spoke in front of more than 700 participants about how a Mayan temple built 2000 years ago unveils the beauty and force of archaic space which we might still inhabit and its architectural order; about how important is the disconnection of intimate space from the public sphere of the house; about the house with which we must have a living connection, of mutual assimilation, so that we do not get lost in our own space. He explained how a 16th century painting can still be instrumental and define architectural form, such as the proportions of a window opened towards horizon. He didactically demonstrated how you can capitalize on the color of the marble used and reflected in the glass. He talked about how you can garden for three hours, and then enjoy the variations of light from your bedroom. Valerio Olgiati showed how the architectural order can grow out of the weight of the structure and about how structure itself becomes a key instrument in defining spaces and orientation.

The awarding of the title of Doctor Honoris Causa by the leadreship of UAUIM, with laudatio from Prof. dr.arch. Iulia Stanciu, marked the end of the conference. Arch. Iulia Stanciu spoke with emotion about the distinct personality of the architect Valerio Olgiati, about how much he manages to influence students for generations. The fact that Olgiati practices pure architectural thought as a philosophy strengthens the experience of space and renders visible the discipline’s specificity.

The eighth edition of Mazzocchioo Talks which took place at the Romanian Athenaeum on October 19, 2022 and which had the architect Valerio Olgiati as a guest had the role of ambassador of the profession of architects through the interest shown by architects and people of culture, through its size and promotion.

About the guest of Mazzocchioo.Talks#8

Valerio Olgiati studied architecture at ETH Zurich. He lived and worked first in Zurich and later in Los Angeles for several years. In 1996, he opened the practice in Zurich, then, in 2008, together with his wife, Tamara, in Flims. His first project to gain notoriety outside the architectural sphere was in 1999 with The Yellow House museum in Flims, Switzerland. Subsequently, the winning proposal in 2008 for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Perm, Russia, became iconic. The list of the most important buildings designed by Valerio Olgiati includes the school in Paspels, the house for a musician in Scharans, the Schleife residential complex in Zug and the Villa Além in Alentejo. Significant projects under design or construction are the winery for Carnasciale in Italy, the high-rise San Felipe in Lima, a house for a priest in Bavaria and a building for the headquarters of the Baloise insurance company in Basel, among many other beautiful projects.

About the organizer

Mazzocchioo magazine, published by the Ion Mincu University Publishing House
Editor-in-Chief Mazzocchioo - assoc prof.dr.arch. Stefan Simion

© photos by Vlad Dumitrescu