Valerio Olgiati studied architecture at ETH Zurich. Having lived and worked first in Zurich and later in Los Angeles for some years, he opened his own practice in Zurich in 1996 and then in 2008 together with his wife Tamara Olgiati in Flims.
The first time he received attention outside the architectural scene was in 1999, with the museum The Yellow House in Flims, Switzerland. His most recent work is a residential building in Zug, Switzerland: a 120 m long red-brown concrete structure. He created an icon with his 2008 winning competition for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Perm, Russia.
There are several monographs about his work. The most recent solo exhibition was at MoMa Tokyo in the winter of 2011/12.
Among other academic engagements, in 2009 he led the Kenzo Tange Chair at Harvard University, Cambridge. Since 2002 he has been a Full Professor at the Accademia di architettura Mendrisio at the Università della Svizzera italiana.