Day 359/365 of Steel – Livio Vacchini

Livio Vacchini (February 27, 1933 – April 2, 2007) was a Swiss architect. From 1953 to 1958 he studied architecture at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. The works of Livio Vacchini feature an extreme coherence of theme and practice. An extreme reduction of structural elements is present in all his designs . The most important values of his works lie precisely in their intentional “untimeliness” : indifferent to novelty, interested only in respecting an inner coherence.

La Ferriera - Administrative and Commercial Building, Switzerland
Fig 1: La Ferriera – Administrative and Commercial Building, Switzerland
Photo: Courtesy Studio Vacchini Architetti (1) – (2,3,4,5)

On the website of Vacchini Studio, I discovered these beautiful sentences about his ideas about materiality. “Each material has its own behavior to light, gravity, substance. The soul of a melted and modelled material is different from the soul of an assembled material, which still is different from a complex material poured into a formwork. The properties of each material should be expressed and brought to light. Only in this way the material itself can give the best and find the best structure to express the most spectacular performances… The technique and technology enable man to rise to higher and far limits, to experience the construction of spaces more precise and more exciting. For man, to build a space means to guide the light into a space through materials and structures that, driven by the highest technique, look for perfection, that is for truth and beauty.”

La Ferriera (2003)

La Ferriera - Entrance Hall
Fig 2: La Ferriera – Entrance Hall
Photo: ORCH Chemollo / RIBA Collections

Livio Vacchini planned and constructed this commercial building between 2000 and 2003. In 2005, the architect received the ECCS Award for La Feriera. The lattice structure comprising black steel, which encompasses all four facades of the building, results in a unique interplay of concealment and transparency. Serving to provide supporting as well design elements for the entire building, the extraordinary steel latticework lends La Ferriera an impressive grandeur.

La Ferriera - Administrative and Commercial Building, Switzerland
Fig 3: La Ferriera – Administrative and Commercial Building, Switzerland
Photo: Irene Grassi

About the Author:

Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.

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