Casa Rotonda (1982)

“The Round House” a single-family house in Stabio, Switzerland. With its unique primitive cylindrical shape, is one of the most iconic works of ArchitectMario Botta. Developed between 1980 and 1982 it is considered a symbol of contemporary architecture.

Casa Rotonda (Casa Medici )-(arch. Mario Botta 1980-82).
Casa Rotonda (Casa Medici )-(arch. Mario Botta 1980-82)

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A Cylindrical Family House

In 1980Mario Bottawas requested to designa single-family houseon a small site north of a new residential area inStabio, Switzerland. He conceived a building with acircular plandeveloped on four levels. It had the shape of a tower; or rather, an object carved out of itself. Botta’s intention was toavoid any comparison– and any contrast – with the neighboring developments, creating instead a spatial link with the distant landscape and the horizon.

Casa Rotonda (arch. Mario Botta 1980-82).
Casa Rotonda (arch. Mario Botta 1980-82)

Image source: Kaczura Arc…

设计通过一个联赛s of Phases

“Speaking about architecture or a building” Mario Botta says in the postscript of his book, “really meansbreaking up the individual phases of the designthrough which the scheme was put together”. The Casa Rotonda was de facto built following this same principle:designing in a series of phases.The housecylindric volume, the first phase of Botta’s design, was built by the architect with the intention of avoiding the comparison of prospects among his design and the façades of the pre-existent neighboring houses, governed by building regulations and land-use plans for the village. In a second phase, he addedfour levelsdestined to separate day and night activities.

Casa Rotonda (Casa Medici )-arch. Mario Botta 1980-82.
Casa Rotonda (Casa Medici )-arch. Mario Botta 1980-82

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A Circular House Without the Façade

With the purpose of avoiding comparisons, Botta designed the Casa Rotonda with a circular layout, in this way the house has no real façade and can’t be squared up to the nearby village building. Thenorth-south axis, marked by a deep cut, determines theorientation of the house in the valley. Southward, the cut links the skylight to thetwo big side openings, serving as connections between interior and exterior; northward, thestairs volume, raising like a column, interrupts the continuous wall of the cylinder. The house is on four levels: thebasementwith the technical and service premises; theground floorwith the portico and the entrance; thefirst floorwith the living area and thesecond floorwith the sleeping area.

Casa Rotonda floor plans
Casa Rotonda floor plans

Image source: byHans Morgenthaler

Data Sheet

  • Architect: Mario Botta;
  • Location: Stabio, Ticino, Switzerland;
  • Project:1980;
  • Construction: 1981-1982;
  • Clients: Liliana e Ovidio Medici;
  • Site area: 700 m²;
  • Useful surface: 295 m²;
  • Volume: 1400 m³.

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