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Summary of Use of Materials and Relationship With the Environment Themes of the Bianchi House

 Significance in the Overall Oeuvre of the Architect Theme of Bianchi House


An Italian architect Mario Botta is accredited for the design of the Bianchi house located at the shores of Lake Lugano in Riva San Vitale village. Bianchi House was built between 1972 – 1973 and attracted attention from various architecture-oriented fields, including scholars and other architectures, because of its significance in the construction industry. Journals such as ‘The Modern House’ have described the design as inspired by the urge to develop contemporary monumentalism regarding the Italian Rationalist style of the 1930s. The design also achieved attention from online website articles such as WordPress, which describes an overview of the house, including its creative design and architecture. A collaborative information platform, the ‘Poland Pavilion at the Dubai Expo 2020’, has also embraced the description of the architectural theme of the Bianchi house, emphasizing the essential details.[1]. This section includes a summary of the significance of the overall oeuvre of the architect of the Bianchi house.

The Significance in the Overall Oeuvre of the Architect of the Bianchi House

The Modern House publication on the Bianchi house proved to be necessary to our research on determining the significance of the overall design of the house since it was precise and creative based on the basic designs[2]. The source acknowledges the square plan of the building, which embraced a unique design of a pedestrian bridge painted red set on the highest floor of the tower coming directly from the road into the studio. The architecture of the Bianchi house is significant in the industry because it took advantage of the natural and beautiful view of the scenery around the area, primarily through the stairs that lead one through the lining spaces and bedrooms towards a covered terrace on the ground floor.[3].

The single-family house commissioned by Carlo and Leontina Bianchi provides a deep relationship with nature and the environment by emphasizing minimal utilization of spaces[4]. Through the18m long pathway, the house appears to be separated from the land, creating an observatory scenery of the environment around the tower. Tsample (2013) agrees that the tower presents a nice view of the surrounding, primarily through the geometric shape of the building and elevations that provide different views of the surrounding. Tsample (2013) also embraces a quote narrated by architects Halldora Arnardottir and Javier Sanchez Merina, who stated, “His facades are not simply a question of decorating the exterior surface of a building. They express a relationship between the house’s interior with the surroundings, the movement of the sun, or the direction to an existing historical construction; they have a geometry that corresponds to the abstract of the surrounding landscape.[5].” The Building disagrees with the typical architectural designs of single-house compositions. It proves important to Carlos’ family and nature due to minimal interruption of natural structures.

The design of the house defines geometric forms with a solid dedication to elemental solids, which are essential to the family’s needs. Each section and level is carefully designed to suit specific purposes. The fourth floor is oriented towards the east, with a study section embracing a perfect view of Mt. Genesoro and the lake[6]. The master bedroom suite is accompanied by its balcony area on the third floor and takes a southern view towards the meadow facing the mountain and lake. The second floor is open enough and offers a visual communication space between the children’s bedroom, a study room, and the kitchen diner[7]. The first floor comprises the social area where the living room links the kitchen-dinner, while the ground floor is designed to be a storage area with sections of laundry and car parking.


In conclusion, the architectural design of the Bianchi House is a masterpiece in the industry since it reflects the elemental solids as illustrated by Le Corbusier. It is unique and designed to suit the location perfectly without blocking the environmental view. However, the design fails to embrace the typical architecture of houses where the entrance is at the ground or lower levels of a building. Instead, it provides a creative and significant architectural design different from the standard procedures regarding the family needs, design principles and environmental conservation.

Use of Materials Theme in the Bianchi House


Every building or construction depends on specific materials to suit the desired structure. Several factors determine the type and use of materials in the construction process, such as topography, soil type, and altitude. The Bianchi House embraced the usof several materials to ensure rigidity in its location, including concrete and metal. The steep slope and the nature of the environment dictated the use of rigid and robust materials to withstand other forces such as erosion, among other factors that may lead to the breaking down of the structure. This section embraces the use of material concerning the Bianchi House.

The Use of Materials

According to McCormick and Bradford Robert (2021), the red metal bridge was designed by Botta to link the house to the road situated at the top of the hill[8]. The metal bridge was made to withstand the changing temperatures on the mountain since metals allow expansion and contraction based on the temperature levels. A concrete bridge would have suited the house, but the metal bridge worked perfectly since it was not designed to withstand heavy objects. Metal is also light compared to concrete; hence since the bridge is located on top of the house, it would not put pressure on the house, causing a building collapse and offering a floating-like experience. It is also worth mentioning that the house was generally built using concrete due to its ability to withstand harsh conditions, especially on top of the mountain.

Image of the red bridge

Figure 1: Image of the red bridge

Image of the ceramic floor

Figure 2: Image of the ceramic floor[9]

The most outstanding materials used in the construction of the house are grey concrete on the walls, which can withstand huge loads of weight and the metallic bridge[10]. The architect of the Bianchi House also embraced ceramic tiles on the floor and other ‘found’ materials. Mario Botta used double block layers, promoting uniqueness and appearance as an artificial object within a natural setting. Botta consistently used untreated concrete ceilings and other heavy materials in designing the building[11]. The heavy materials include windows whose frames are made of black steel and red bricks covering floors in on the interior.


In conclusion, the architecture of the Bianchi house was precisely done by Mario regarding best experience and relation to the landscape. The materials used also embraced rigidity and best quality to provide the residents with the best and unique experience while living in the house, such as the floating experience on the rooftop bridge. Heavy materials also ensure the house’s long-lasting despite harsh conditions yet to be experienced.


Archeyesmagazine. 2020. “Bianchi House Technical Information.” ArchEyes. January 27, 2020.

Bianchi House. 2020. “ Bianchi House – Data, Photos & Plans.” WikiArquitectura. July 6, 2020.

MaryjcentinoFollow this publisher – current follower count:1, maryjcentino. 2017. “Bianchi House.” Issuu. May 16, 2017.

McCormick, Bradford Robert. 2021. “Bianchi House at Riva San Vitale / Mario Botta.” Archies. June 1, 2021.

The Modern House. 2013. “House of the Week: House at Riva San Vitale by Mario Botta: Journal.” The Modern House. January 22, 2013.

tsample2013, LA102 ActionScapes, and tsample2013. 2013. “Mario Botta – the House at Riva San Vitale.” LA102 ActionScapes. May 15, 2013.

[1] (Bianchi House, 2020)

[2] (The Modern House, 2013)

[3] (The Modern House, 2013)

[4] (tsample2013 , 2013)

[5] (tsample2013 , 2013)

[6] (Bianchi House, 2020)

[7] (Bianchi House, 2020)

[8] (McCormick, Bradford Robert. 2021)

[9] (Archeyesmagazine, 2020)

[10] (maryjcentino, 2017)

[11] (maryjcentino, 2017)


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