Architect Valerio Olgiati is a multiple award-winning Swiss architect who has conducted many projects internationally. Following his architectural studies at ETH Zurich, he worked with Frank Escher for a few years and later established his practice in 1996. His designs always provide the subject with a unique architectural experience with carefully organized spaces. Like an author, he narrates a story through the purity in the forms, lights, and materials of his buildings to the people. While working as an architect, he also taught at ETH Zurich, Architectural Association School of Architecture London, at Cornell University and later became a full-time professor at Accademia di architettura Mendrisio. He also holds the Kenzo Tange Chair at Harvard University since 2009.
Among other of his works, here are some of his most remarkable projects:
1. Visiting Centre for the Swiss National Park | Valerio Olgiati
Project Year: 2002
This multiple award-winning design by architect Valerio Olgiati serves as an exhibition space that provides the user with an exemplary experience through the dialogue between the two intersecting cubes which make the structure. Though the façade is deceptively simple, the interiors of this building provide a complex blend of light and dark spaces. The windows provided to each room are horizontally oriented to provide a panoramic view of the surrounding area.
2. Office of Valerio Olgiati
Location: Flims, Switzerland
Project Year: 2006
Architect Olgiati designed his 3 storeyed office adjacent to his residence in the middle of the village of Films, with the ground floor being an open space allocated to garage and landscape, and a concrete slab providing the base for the office above it.
3. Atelier Bardill | Valerio Olgiati
Location: Scharans, Switzerland
Project Year: 2007
The structure of Atelier Bardill provides a striking contrast against its simple backdrop of a traditional Swiss village through its rust-colored geometric appearance. These geometric walls with flower stamps embedded on them, conceal a courtyard and a minimalistic working space inside it.
Perm Museum ©divisare.com
4. Plantah of Auditorium
Location: Landquart, Switzerland
Project Year: 2010
This auditorium designed by the Swiss architect which seats 130 to 180 people is designed to act as the public center of activities for the agricultural school of Plantahof. The exposed structural elements, the large wall rising above its pillars and beams and its dark color give an iconic appearance to the building.
5. Villa Alem | Valerio Olgiati
Location: Alentejo, Portugal
Project Year: 2014
This residential structure enclosed by a barrier of walls for protection against strong winds and the sun is designed by the architect for himself. The site is rectangular with an oblong pool as its center and the living quarters located at one end taking minimal space.
6. House Kucher
Location: Rottenburg am Necker, Germany
Project Year: 1991
Olgiati’s design for House Kucher won the award of the German Architectural Prize in 1993 and Architektenkammer Baden-Württemberg, Germany in 1995. Creating a sense of formality through elements such as narrow balconies, high dormer windows, largely monochromatic façade, and steep gabled roof, the house reflects the 19th-century residential style of that locality.
7. School Building
Location: Paspels, Switzerland
Project Year: 1998
This award-winning building was designed by Olgiati to serve as a school for a small community of a mountain village. This three-storeyed building though constructed from locally sourced materials has a striking appearance that contrasts its surrounding region through its geometric appearance. The internal layout of the building where the circulation spaces are made out of exposed concrete is designed to create different experiences of the space through light depending on different times of the day.
8. Yellow House Museum | Valerio Olgiati
Location: Flims, Switzerland
Project Year: 1999
Originally a farmhouse, this building gets its name from the yellow façade that it used to wear. While redesigning, Olgiati removed a lot of its internal structures, filled in unnecessary windows, and replaced the original roof with a new slab-stone roof. This award-winning design now serves as an exhibition space, museum, and conference venue for Alpine and international architecture and arts.
9. Residential Building
Location: Zug, Switzerland
Project Year: 2007
Architect Olgiati’s residential building in Zug, Switzerland is designed to be visually distinct from its surroundings due to its reddish color and façade with elliptical openings. This protruding facade, while serving as an attractive feature also separates the apartment building visually and physically from opposite buildings.
10. Perm Museum XXI | Valerio Olgiati
Location: Perm, Russia
Project Year: 2008
For the competition organized by The Centre of Contemporary architecture in Russia, Valerio Olgiati designed a building with varied floor sizes to create a stacked appearance. White in-situ concrete is planned to be used for the construction of the building with a winding staircase connecting all the floors vertically.
11. Céline Flagship Stor
Location: Miami, USA
Project Year: 2018
This two-storeyed structure by architect Olgiati is designed to provide the customers of the store with a contemporary experience through the use of pastel-colored marble for all interior spaces.
12. Pearling Site | Valerio Olgiati
Location: Muharraq- Bahrain
Project Year: 2019
Architect Valerio Olgiati designed the Pearling Site Museum for the Bahrain Authority of Culture & Antiquities to serve as an entrance to the ‘Pearling Path’ – a trail that connects the historic sites of Bahrain. Set against the coarse background of Muharraq city, the building creates an iconic presence through the use of a large roof having geometric openings for wind circulation which is supported by a colony of columns all made out of concrete.