Ruinelli Architetti is based in Soglio, Bregaglia, an Italian speaking valley in the Swiss canton of Grisons. Their work has very deep bonds with this area, where time seems to pass more slowly, and traces of the past are visible and alive.
You grew up in Bregaglia. At the age of 16, you left Soglio to do an apprenticeship as a construction engineer (Hochbauzeichnerlehre) in Zurich, and afterwards you decided not to continue with architectural studies. How did this decision come about?
It wasn’t really a decision. When I finished the apprenticeship, some of my colleagues went to the Higher Technical Institute (HTL Höhere Technische Lehranstalt) in Zurich. I was not interested in following an engineering training and I went back to Soglio to think about my next steps. In Graubünden, as in many other cantons in Switzerland, there is no architecture association as such, so you’re allowed to work as an architect without having an academic qualification. Initially, I was commissioned to do construction drawings. My activity as an architect only developed afterwards, little by little.