In 1970 Mario Botta opened an architecture practice in Lugano. He is acclaimed worldwide for the numerous private houses and company buildings he designed in Switzerland and Italy. Mario Botta's most important public buildings are the Cathedral at Evry (1988-1990), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1990-1995), and the Tinguely Museum in Basel (1995/96). As an architect, he is a leading exponent of what is known as the Ticino School.
Since 1982 Mario Botta also worked as a designer, primarily of furniture and lighting. For the Italian furniture manufacturer Alias, he created the chairs "Prima" and "Seconda", the table "Terzo" and the chair, "Quarto"; they were followed by the "Quinta" chair (1986), the sofa "Sesto: Re e Regina", "Vis à vis" and the "Latonda" chair. Clear, reduced geometric forms and the use of steel tubing, especially in the chairs he designed, show Mario Botta's close affinities with the Bauhaus tradition. For Artemide Mario Botta designed numerous lamps, including the "Shogun" (1986), which was available as both a table lamp and a floor lamp, the "Fidia" wall lighting, the "Melanos" table lamp, and the "Zefiro" ceiling lighting.
In 2000 Mario Botta created the caraffes "Tua" and "Mia" for Alessi as well as the "Tronco" vase in 2002.
His work can be found in the permanent collections of the New Yorker Museum of Modern Art, in the collection of the Virginia Museum of Modern Art in New York and in the 20th Century Design and Architecture Gallery of the New Yorker Metropolitan Museum.
In 1996 he founded the Accademia di Architettura Svizzera.
Mario Botta has published numerous books and monographs.