Design icon Carlo Mollino

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Carlo Mollino

Carlo Mollino was famed for his designs that had a unique quality to them, we explore…

Everything is permissible as long as it is fantastic.

The man behind these words was Carlo Mollino, an Italian architect, designer and photographer. He was born on May 6, 1905 in Turin, Piedmont, Italy. Ranging from well-crafted chairs, tables, and automobile designs to staged erotic portraits of women in his home studio, Mollino pursued aesthetic appeal in all aspects of his life. He was once credited as saying, “Everything is permissible as long as it is fantastic.” That credo was certainly reflected throughout his body of work. In 1930, Carlo Mollino started his career as an architect designing a house in Forte deiMarmi and receiving the G. Pistono prize for architecture.

Over the following decades, he designed a number of buildings throughout Turin, including ski lodges, auditoriums, and apartments. Mollino’s architecture and furniture are famous for their ability to enable occupants to manipulate volumes at a whim.

Between 1933 and 1948, he worked in his father’s office, and took part in several architecture competitions. Between 1936 and 1939, Mollino designs, in collaboration with Vittorio Baudi di Selve, the SocietàIppicaTorinese building in Turin, considered his masterpiece.He designed some mountain houses like the Casa delSole in Cervinia, Aosta Valley and the Slittovia of Lago Nero in Sauzed’Oulx, in Piedmont.

In 1952, Mollino designed the RAI Auditorium in Turin, which was a radically restored bringing big change to the original structure in 2006. In the first half of the sixties, he directed the team of architects responsible for the design of the INA-Casa district in Turin and he is placed second in the competition for the design of the Palazzo del Lavoro building in Turin, won by Pier Luigi Nervi, for the 100th anniversary celebration of the unification of Italy (1961).

In the last years of his life (between 1965 and 1973) he designed the two buildings that made him famous: the Camera di Commercio building and the TeatroRegio Torino (Regio Theater), both in Turin.

Before his death he completed the projects for the FIAT Directional Centre in Candiolo, the AEM building in Turin, and the Club Mediterranèe in Sestriere.

Mollino died on August 27, 1973 in Turin, Italy. It was not until after his death that his now famous erotic polaroids were discovered.

Today, the artist’s works are held in the collections of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Brooklyn Museum in New York, among others.

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