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. 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. 

House Kucher ©ofhouses.com
House Kucher ©ofhouses.com
House Kucher ©plansofarchitecture.tumblr.com
House Kucher ©plansofarchitecture.tumblr.com
House Kucher ©ofhouses.com

2. 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.

School Building ©archello.com
School Building ©archello.com
School Building ©archello.com
School Building ©archello.com

3. Yellow House Museum

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.

Yellow House Museum ©www.dasgelbehausflims.ch
Yellow House Museum ©www.dasgelbehausflims.ch
Yellow House Museum ©www.dasgelbehausflims.ch

 

4. Visiting Centre for the Swiss National Park

Location: Zernez

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. 

Visiting Centre ©www.archdaily.com
Visiting Centre ©www.archdaily.com
Visiting Centre ©www.archdaily.com

 

5. 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. 

Office of Valerio Olgiati ©gorgheus.blogspot.com
Office of Valerio Olgiati ©waullye.blogspot.com
Office of Valerio Olgiati ©waullye.blogspot.com

6. 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. 

Image 21 – Residential Building ©www.archdaily.com
Residential Building ©www.archdaily.com

7. Atelier Bardill

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. 

8. Perm Museum XXI

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.

Perm Museum ©divisare.com
Perm Museum ©divisare.com
Perm Museum ©divisare.com

9. Plantahof 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.

Plantahof Museum ©www.archdaily.com
Plantahof Museum ©www.archdaily.com
Plantahof Museum ©www.archdaily.com
Plantahof Museum ©www.archdaily.com

10. Villa Alem

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. 

Villa Alem ©www.archdaily.com

Villa Alem ©www.archdaily.com
Villa Alem ©www.archdaily.com

11. Céline Flagship Store

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.

Céline Flagship Store ©www.archdaily.com
Céline Flagship Store ©www.archdaily.com
Céline Flagship Store ©www.archdaily.com
Céline Flagship Store ©www.archdaily.com

12. Pearling Site

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. 

Perling Site ©www.archdaily.com
Perling Site ©www.archdaily.com
Perling Site ©www.archdaily.com
Perling Site ©www.archdaily.com
Author

An architect who strongly believes that architecture can influence and bring about a change in society for the better. While actively involved in humanitarian work, a lot of her free time is spent in reading, thinking about life and writing about her revelations.'

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