Autobiography Iconography

Valerio Olgiati


Valerio Olgiati - Autobiography Iconography

The illustrations on the following images are important ones stored in my head. When I design or invent a building they are always hovering somewhere above me. These are the basis of my projects. They are with me when I sit gazing at the « white sheet of paper », so to speak. It is always my aim to build something that is related in some way or other to these images – either the image itself or what it illustrates. Often the way it is illustrated is what fascinates me.
For about a year now I have attempted, even in discussions with my assistants, to select only those images that have special defining signifiance for our work, for my work. All the rest were excluded.
Naturally I want also to rise above the traditions handed down to me. Even to the extend that my architecture would become non-referential. That would the best thing, the most independant way.
But I am aware that is impossible. Still, I often find myself thinking about it. This contradiction forces me to think, to sort out, to design an architecture that in the end in « only » abstract and can therefore be dense and rich, if possible. Only a single mind can produce truly fascinating architecture.
Always assuming one believes that fascinating architecture has to be prototypical and unique. Beneath each of the followig images there is a short caption, sometimes accompanied by a commentary. Where there is no commentary, I have not yet been able to come up with a rational explanation of the image or what it illustrates.
Source :
Valerio Olgiati, 2G International Architectural Review n°37, Barcelona, Editorial Gustavo Gili, 2010