Mario Botta in India

Swiss architect Mario Botta needs no introduction. His work around the world speaks volumes of the master architect. And his projects in India for Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) are a continuation of his excellence in the field.

Mario Botta: Swiss architect who designed TCS offices

By Ishani Duttagupta & Neha Dewan, ET Bureau

For well-known Swiss architect and urban designer Mario Botta, India has definitely been among the shaping influences of his style. “The past is very important for my work and so is the environment and climate of a place. All this translates into a modern architectural genre,” says Botta who has worked on various urban architecture projects around the world. The past, he says, makes up 95% of the current place in which we stay.

 

“But it doesn’t imply that we should reproduce the past but rather be inspired by it,” he says assertively. He adheres to a philosophy of historical determinism in which architecture acts as a mirror of its times and some of his most important work includes the SFMOMA museum in San Francisco, the cathedral in Evry, the museum Jean Tinguely in Basel, the Cymbalista synagogue and Jewish heritage centre in Tel Aviv, the municipal library in Dortmund and the Kyobo tower and the Leeum museum in Seoul.

In India, Botta has designed Tata Consultancy Services offices in Hyderabad and Noida. “For the Noida TCS office, a double skinned wall ensures a system of natural ventilation for the internal spaces of the office. The south walls have no apertures, and thus form a screen against the direct and strong sunlight. A portico shaped space on the ground floor reveals the presence beyond of a vast green area. These are features which are inspired by old buildings in India,” says Mr Botta.

The TCS office in Hyderabad is located in the technology hub of High Tech City. The underlying intention of the design for the offices is to present a monolithic element hollowed out on the inside and open towards the city. “While one of the offices is on the outskirts of the city, the other is located in the hub. The two different locations have helped shape the different architectural styles,” says Botta.

He confesses to being fascinated by the history of India. “The old and new co-exist in India which is an interesting interplay. I hope to have some influence of India in my designs!”

There are a lot of things that Botta feels are significant to consider as an architect. “Firstly, one needs to understand his surrroundings and create dialogue. The building should not be isolated. It is also important that the buildings are environment-friendly which can help to control the temperature. Lastly, one must understand the culture of a place and translate it into a modern way,” he says.

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