The Basel-based architecture studio of Miller & Maranta, founded by Quintus Miller (1961, Aarau) and Paola Maranta (1959, Chur), is a leading studio of the current generation of Swiss architects. Miller and Maranta were introduced to the analogous architecture of Aldo Rossi while studying architecture under Fabio Reinhart and Miroslav Šik at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich). In 1994, after having worked together on several projects, they decided to found their own firm. The projects they have since realized – examples include the Volta School in Basel, the Färberplatz in Aarau, the Schwarzpark residential project in Basel, the renovation and expansion of Villa Garbald in Castasegna, and the Old Hospice at the Gotthard Pass – have been written about in numerous publications and have also earned them success on the international scene. In 2013, they invited the architect Jean-Luc von Aarburg to join them as a partner.
Miller & Maranta’s urbanist and architectural formulations respond differently to aspects of the specific local situation, but always using a contemporary vocabulary. In their work, they typically pay close attention to the memory and atmosphere of the place, with an emphasis on the careful selection of materials and last but not least on excellent lighting conditions and acoustics. Through their independent and self-confident buildings, they interpret the specific qualities of a place using new means, overlaying it with their interpretation of the task at hand.
The exhibition that Miller & Maranta have put together specifically for České Budějovice offers a look at the projects and working methods of this architecture studio. It presents the studio’s works within a spatial context through large-format photographs that sometimes reach almost to the ceiling of the gallery, thus allowing visitors to move among the depicted buildings. Thanks to their exceptional size, the photographs become physically tangible representations allowing for an unusual approach to these works of architecture.
This concentrated presentation of the studio’s current projects through the use of oversized photographs allows for a deeper, multivalent examination reflecting the architects’ associative approach to their designs.
Quintus Miller earned his degree in architecture from ETH Zurich in 1987. From 1990 to 1994, he worked as a design assistant at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPF Lausanne) and at ETH Zurich. After working as a visiting professor at EPF Lausanne (2000–2001) and at the Università della Svizzera italiana’s Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio (2007–2008), he was a visiting lecturer at ETH Zurich until 2010. He has been a regular professor of architecture at the Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio since 2009. From 2004 to 2008, Miller was a member of the City of Lucerne’s Building Commission. He was a member of the City of Zurich’s Heritage Preservation Commission from 2005 to 2016 and has been a member of the Heritage Council of the Canton of Basel-City since 2011.
Paola Maranta studied architecture at EPF Lausanne and ETH Zurich, from which she graduated in 1986. After earning a Master of Business Administration from the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne, she worked as a business consultant at McKinsey & Company (1990–1994) before co-founding her own architecture studio with Quintus Miller. She has also taught as a visiting professor at EPF Lausanne and at the Università della Svizzera italiana’s Accademia di Architettura, and was a visiting lecturer at ETH Zurich. Maranta was a member of the Building Commission of the Canton of Basel-City from 2001 to 2005 and of the Architectural Planning Commission of the town of Riehen from 2002 to 2019.
Jean-Luc von Aarburg (1975, Liestal) studied architecture at EPF Lausanne, Delft University of Technology, and ETH Zurich, from which he graduated in 2001. He began working with Miller & Maranta in 2001, joined the company’s management in 2007, and has been a partner since 2013. In the 2009/10 academic year, he was co-lecturer for Quintus Miller and Paola Maranta during their time as guest lecturers at ETH Zurich.