The LAC – Lugano Arte Cultura – is aspiring to become the most important centre for cultural development in Lugano and Italian Switzerland. Forma Edizioni is dedicating an important volume to this project; the book has been realised with the collaboration of the Ticinese architect, Ivano Gianola, winner of the project’s international competition involving some of the most important architectural firms in the world. The functional layout of this imposing structure is composed of a multi-functional space for a new theatre and concert hall with seating for 1000, a museum, restaurant area, office space and housing. The urban image has a very strong impact, an aspect that had to be considered by the architect. On one side are historical buildings of vital importance for the city of Lugano, and on the other, an “empty” space, composed of an abandoned park and a heavy traffic road. Gianola’s project was based on the coexistence of “old” and “new”. A huge glass entrance hall becomes the barycentre of the whole complex: the transparent shell of the structure that rises to full building height creates a constant visual relationship with the lake, the hills, and the park in the background, maintaining and emphasising the strongly urban nature of the intervention. The volume describes the complete history of this work in great detail, through critical and descriptive texts, drawings, sketches, and numerous photographs that make up the highly accurate documentation of this significant construction site.
Ivano Gianola is one of the most important exponents of the socalled Ticino School. This developed in the early 1970s as a loose association of architects who thought in related ways. At the time, their ambition was to set radical alternatives of a powerfully symbolic nature against the increasing destruction of the environment by new building in Ticino. Gianola is known for the strong ties his architecture has with its surrounding environment and for the craftsmanlike precision of his works.