AUTOSILO BALESTRA CAR PARK LUGANO I SWISS BRUTALISM I © HEARTBRUT 2019

AUTOSILO BALESTRA

Carlo Cesarini, Lugano 1978

© Heartbrut.com / Karin Hunter Bürki

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If you ever fancy taking a trip down a well-preserved Swiss shopping mall from the late seventies and finish off with an espresso in the snack bar before hailing a postbus in the dingy subterranean terminus – welcome to your dream destination.

Designed by Carlo Cesarini, Autosilo Balestra is a brutalist multi-storey car park and mini shopping centre situated in Lugano’s financial district. Its fortress-style build and zigzag lines cutting into the sky like saw blades, throw the sleek and shiny postmodernist neighbours, most of them designed or inspired by Mario Botta, into extra sharp relief. As it has not suffered from any regeneration efforts, the complex offers a rare opportunity to experience a fully-functioning piece of late 70s everyday life in Switzerland. Balestra may look like a weather-beaten erratic block, but this bold relict of car age design is here to stay.

Fun fact: In 2011 a Ford Mustang smashed through the massive concrete walls on the third floor, killing three scooters after a Hollywood-worthy 15 metre fall (nobody got hurt).

AUTOSILO BALESTRA, LUGANO I © HEARTBRUT / KARIN HUNTER BÜRKI
AUTOSILO BALESTRA, LUGANO I © HEARTBRUT / KARIN HUNTER BÜRKI
AUTOSILO BALESTRA, LUGANO I © HEARTBRUT / KARIN HUNTER BÜRKI
Autosilo Balestra Multi-Story Car Park & Shopping Centre Lugano, Swiss Brutalism I © Heartbrut / Karin Hunter Bürki
Autosilo Balestra Multi-Story Car Park & Shopping Centre Lugano, Swiss Brutalism I © Heartbrut / Karin Hunter Bürki
AUTOSILO BALESTRA, LUGANO I © HEARTBRUT / KARIN HUNTER BÜRKI
Autosilo Balestra Multi-Story Car Park & Shopping Centre Lugano, Swiss Brutalism I © Heartbrut / Karin Hunter Bürki
Autosilo Balestra Multi-Story Car Park & Shopping Centre Lugano, Swiss Brutalism I © Heartbrut / Karin Hunter Bürki
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