原文：Published on the occasion of the exhibition Mario Botta /The Museum of Modern Art/November 20,1986-February 10,1987
Geometric order, sense of place, the tectonics of craft and materials, and the importance of light are themes you have stressed in speaking of your work. Can you elaborate on these concerns?
First, order, for me, is the matrix of all artifice; it is the concretization of thought, of reason, in relation to the natural world. Architecture is the activity which transforms nature into culture. Order, which is often based on geometry, is the vehicle of this act of transformation. I love the element of order, of ratiocination, as an aspect and as a tool for counterbalancing the natural world. The juxtaposition of an artificial element with a natural one creates a rapport and a clash that, in its intensity, typifies the architectural event.
Second, sense of place, or site. The first step in the architectural act is taking possession of the site. It is a conscious act of transforming a unicum, an awareness that grounds the new intervention in the geography, history, and culture of a particular site. The architecture is the construction of this site. There can be no indifference toward the site. It is the very territory of architecture as well as the primary condition determining the laws by which one must build.
Third, construction and materials are the tools of the craft itself. Without construction, there is no architecture; and construction is realized by means of structures and materials. I like to consider the physiological need for protection implicit in architecture as directly related to the use and perception of the materials. When I get close to an old construction I feel the need to have a tactile rapport with it, to verify its solidity, its constitution, its surface. It is part of man’s primitive need to know and distinguish the various elements of his own space. This is why I try to express every construction and every kind of material for what it really is. There’s no such thing as good or bad material; materials are either well used or ill used.
And fourth, light is the true generator of space. Without light there is no space. I like to use light as the concept that carries the composition. Geometry usually comes in as a merely instrumental component subordinate to light, while the light determines the hierarchy of the composition. Symmetry and geometry also serve as balancing elements for the light. Light physically links architecture to the heavens and the cosmos: it is the element that embodies the notion of architecture as an entity standing between the earth and the heavens. I think that this is the principal role of light in my work.