This past 12th of October the exhibition “Louis Kahn and Venezia” inaugurated the program of the new USI Theatre of Architecture in Mendrisio, designed by Mario Botta.
Curated by Elisabetta Barizza in collaboration with Gabriele Neri, the exhibition is promoted by the Foundation of the Theatre of Architecture of Mendrisio and the Academy of Architecture of the Università della Svizzera Italiana.
“Louis Kahn and Venezia” showcases the close ties between the American architect, one of the twentieth-century Masters, and the city of Venice. Kahn’s relationship with the Italian city dates from his first stay in 1928 and continued over the decades with further visits. It was strengthened by his participation in the Biennale di Venezia, his friendship with Carlo Scarpa, the various lectures he gave and above all his project, which remained on the drawing board, for a Palazzo dei Congressi. These events, together with the themes related to them, are explored in the exhibition through models, drawings, photographs, video installations, letters and other documents, many unpublished, from numerous international archives and private collections. They include the Architectural Archives-University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia; the Canadian Centre for Architecture, in Montreal; the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, in Venice; the Sue Ann Kahn Collection, in New York, and others.
The research underpinning the exhibition seeks to reflect on the current and complex relationship that exists between past, present and future in such an outstanding place as Venice, a “pure miracle”, as Louis Kahn described it, in the history of humanity.
The choice of the theme of this first major exhibition also resonates with the architectural qualities of the Theatre of Architecture, establishing close ties between the work of Louis Kahn, Venice and architecture in Ticino. In its geometric strength and essential spatiality, the new building on the campus of the Mendrisio Academy of Architecture reveals Kahn’s influence on the work of Mario Botta, who collaborated with the American Master on his project for Venice in the late 1960s, when he was still a youthful undergraduate.
To know more about this exhibition please visit: website