Hailing from Ticino, Switzerland, Luigi Snozzi is an academician, a painter, and an architect. He is a firm believer that to arrive at a solution, it is necessary to be radical in your way of thinking as it is essential to know which out of the thousand problems thrown at you do you decide to tackle. Political factors, as well as the social context, primarily drive his architecture. This is rooted in his ideology of it being of utmost importance to study and understand the city and the context before progressing to a house as you try to find the rhythm in the city. To better understand his ideologies and his architecture, here are 10 of his projects:
1. Fabrizia administration building | Luigi Snozzi
This building, designed by Luigi Snozzi and Livio Vacchini, is located in Bellinzona in Ticino. The building is made of a steel framework that has been painted dark blue. Alongside forming the structure, the framework creates a visual grid when looked at from outside, a characteristic often found in Snozzis buildings. The building was innovative, keeping the function in mind. Since the building was to have offices, the architects decided to have a sense of flexibility in the design, providing a completely open plan on the ground floor and making lightweight walls for the other floors to promote flexibility in space. The vaulted roof’s addition allows for the entire building to be well lit throughout the day.
2. Low-Cost housing
Between 1962 to 1971, Luigi Snozzi worked closely with Livio Vacchini, another one of their projects together was the low-cost housing project in the land area of the Maggia delta. This building was a part of a development scheme in the area. The building is only six floors high, yet consisted of 54 apartments. Despite being low-cost housing, the architects did not compromise on the architectural quality of the building. The building was divided into three parts to separate the different typologies of apartments. All three typologies are accessible through the ground floor, all having their individual staircases.
Wooden planks made up the facade of the building. This choice allowed for the windows and panels to be easily fitted. These kinds of rational solutions allowed for features that are usually not found in Low-cost housing projects.
3. Apartment Building In Carasso
Facing the city of Bellinzona, this apartment building designed by the pair of Luigi Snozzi and Livio Vacchini consists of 12 apartments, all of which have a flexible layout. The external face, like with Snozzis’ work, consists of a visual grid. In this building, the grid also acts as a shading element to the large glass windows, efficiently making the structure a part of space making.
4. Elementary School
The elementary school was one of the most critical interventions in the community of Monte Carasso. Snozzi believed that Monte Carasso needed an identity and that it needed a real center, which grounded the entire space. He decided that this center should consist of a church and school. This project reinforces Snozzis ideologies and how he looks at the greater impact of a building and how he looks at the building with the city’s viewpoint. The project was to act as a starting point for the community and therefore acts as an essential element for the community of Monte Carasso.
5. Casa Guidotti | Luigi Snozzi
Casa Guidotti, more commonly known as Casa del Sindaco in Monte Carasso, is the mayor’s home. Luigi wanted this structure to inherit a sense of importance, and he did so by using the height of the structure, but the built form of the structure stands out, yet fits into the context effortlessly. The exposed concrete is one of the trademark elements in Snozzis designs, adding to that the rigidity of the built-form allows the structure to portray its dominant presence.
6. Spogliato Unione Sportiva
Luigi, very craftily, with the help of this building, displays how architecture can create a barrier. The sports ground is right next to the industrial area. He defined the boundaries between the two regions with the building’s help and then the walls and trees. The combination of physical and visual barriers helps in preventing the division from looking forced. The building was made using techniques and materials that were very easy to use, such that the locals could put it together, cutting down the cost. This building is another example of how Luigi’s design caters to the greater audience by involving the community in the process.
7. Appartamenti VerdeMonte
In addition to the previous project, this project emphasizes the power of architecture as the building creates a spatial boundary for the community’s settlement growth. The ground floor was supposed to be completely open, allowing for views of the fields on one side and the village on the other. The building, later on, had an extension to the original structure.
8. Hospital in Montreux
Luigi Snozzi, throughout his career, took part in and was invited to numerous competitions. The Hospital in Montreux was one such competition. Luigi collaborated with B. Jenni and his daughter for this competition, for which they won 1st place. The building was divided into four groups of different functions, Surgical center, Public shelter, apartment for the personnel, and new hospital beds. The design of this building highlights the sensitivity and the conscience of Luigi Snozzi as an architect. The building has a C shaped form with the inner face overlooking a courtyard and a lake in the distance. The design also protects the internal spaces from noise.
9. Museum and library in Chur
This competition had two criteria. One was to keep the existing villa, and the second was to demolish it. Snozzis team won 1st and 2nd prize, respectively. For the first entry, he masterfully not only preserved the villa so that it acts as a museum but also played with the boundaries in a way that the villa itself looked like an object on display. The villa is expanded for the second proposal. Glass bricks and cement act as the significant elements for the 2nd proposal.
Variation 1 and 2 respectively
10. Shopping and crafts center in Giubiasco | Luigi Snozzi
The structure was to be located on the border between the industrial and agricultural zones of the Magadino plains. Taking advantage of the location, the architects wanted to create a unique design. The Architects decided to have a bold circular form that was raised above the ground using columns. The raising of the structure not only helped the structure stand out from the flat land but also provided an excellent opportunity for the structure to be a people-friendly space. The raised piazza allowed for an uninterrupted visual connect to the greenery and agricultural lands outside the structure.