Rarely is an architect as closely connected to his or her place of work as is the case with Armando Ruinelli, born 1954, and his native village of Soglio in Val Bregaglia, Switzerland. Yet, far from what one might expect with such a small and remote place of barely 100 inhabitants, the limitation in this case became a distinction. Ruinelli’s attitude and work have grown organically from the village’s strong stone-built dwellings. Thus, he has become an internationally revered master of building in existing fabric, in particular in an Alpine environment.
This first monograph on Armando Ruinelli documents comprehensively his work over nearly four decades. It demonstrates the evolution of his architectural language from the first buildings in Soglio of the 1980s, to conversions of existing buildings and designs for new ones that continue local traditions but also meet today’s demands in housing, and to the latest works, such as the almost abstract studio for Swiss artist Miriam Cahn in Stampa.
Photographs and plans, as well as a photo essay newly created for this book by Swiss photographer Katalin Deér, are supplemented with texts and conversations between Ruinelli and his equally renowned fellow architect Gion A. Caminada that illuminate the architect’s work and attitude and convey the particular features of his Alpine environment.
> Axel Simon is an architect and editor of Swiss architecture and design magazine Hochparterre.