Architect Ivano Gianola, an exponent of the renowned Ticinese School, and winner of the international design competition for the architectural project, has crafted a building that speaks to the city and dialogues with it. Visitors enter into a spacious hall that was meant to be like a gigantic window where the difference between being inside and outside is barely perceptible.
The hall faces piazza Bernardino Luini which opens onto the lake with its lovely views and links the cultural center with the sixteenth century complex of the church of Santa Maria degli Angioli adjacent to the old Franciscan convent. This spatial continuity between interior and exterior means visitors feel no sense of physical separateness from their surroundings and is an invitation to experience the LAC every day as an open door, the new beating heart of the city.
The stunning entrance hall provides access to the rooms of the Museo d’arte della Svizzera italiana, 2,500 square metres devoted to important exhibitions of modern and contemporary artists, ready to be discovered along with masters from the past and ever new displays of the collection. The opposite side leads to the concert and theater hall of nearly one thousand seats, a feat of acoustic engineering and venue to performances by the LAC’s permanent partners, the Compagnia Finzi Pasca and the Orchestra della Svizzera italiana. This is also the place where fans of Lugano Musica gather, sometimes after waiting months for concert dates by the world’s most celebrated musicians.
But it is above all the stage for the cultural season coordinated by the LAC’s artistic management with a programme featuring performances of dance, theatre and music, with attention to the great classics but also to innovative forms involving leading companies from around the world and productions of new works to provide opportunities for local talent. The interesting and vast array of multi-disciplinary activities offered to the public by LAC edu, often free of charge, completes the experience. All this makes the LAC a truly unique phenomenon among international cultural centers.