"The Fossati Brothers", Ticino-based architects from Morcote to Istanbul

View of Istanbul
View of Istanbul
Prof. Christoph Frank during his keynote speech
Prof. Christoph Frank during his keynote speech

Institutional Communication Service

11 October 2021

The international workshop "The Fossati Brothers" was held in Istanbul, dedicated to the brothers Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati, architects from Ticino. They were active around the middle of the 19th century in the capital of the Ottoman Empire. The event - which was also attended by a delegation of politicians from the Canton of Ticino, including the President of the State Council Manuele Bertoli and the Mayor of Morcote Giacomo Caratti - launched a series of initiatives aimed at highlighting the work of the two architects from Ticino in Istanbul.

In addition to the celebrated restoration of the Hagia Sophia and the construction of the Russian Embassy in Constantinople, whose headquarters - today the Consulate General of Russia - hosted the first day of the conference, Gaspare Fossati also designed the church of the Dominican Convent of Saints Peter and Paul in Galata. The Dominican convent hosted a round table focused on the upcoming restoration of the structure for which funds are being raised and inaugurated a small exhibition dedicated to the architect from Ticino, the Dominican church and convent and the great city on the Bosphorus (more information on the exhibition: http://senpiyer.org/the-fossati-brothers/). The initiative, organised with the support of the Swiss Embassy in Turkey and the Consulate General of Switzerland in Istanbul, in collaboration with the Institute of Dominican Studies (DoSt-I) and the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Istanbul, was supported by USI and the Bosphorus and Kadir Has Universities, the Italian Institute of Culture in Istanbul and numerous other scholars.

For the USI Academy of Architecture, Daniela Mondini, Institute of History and Theory of Art and Architecture, participated in the group that organised the workshop and the exhibition. Christoph Frank, Director of ISA, gave the Keynote Lecture at the opening of the conference dedicated to international diplomacy and the strategic role of science and architecture in the Ottoman Empire from the 17th to the 19th century.

In the video below, the focus on the RSI newscast "Due ticinesi a Costantinopoli".

RSI news report, 5.10.2021