Carlo Mollino: Casa del Sole
Everything is permissible as long as it is fantastic, Carlo Mollino once said, accurately describing his attitude towards design and architecture. Known as one of the most versatile architects of the twentieth century, Mollino, an amazing sportsman and inspiring creative force in many fields, designed a 23-apartment, Modernist ski chalet called Casa del Sole (House of the Sun) in Cevinia, Italy, in 1947. It is a perfect example of the lively complexity typical of his work. This beautifully produced, clothbound volume with a tipped-on cover image develops as a sort of architectural novel, including drawings, photographs and writings by Mollino about the design and building process.
When it was built, Casa del Sole proposed to create modern yet economic housing that would help develop tourism in the Italian Alps after the Second World War--an extremely difficult period in that country's history. The architecturally sophisticated building was furnished very minimally, and pushed the conceptual vanguard of the time with its pared-down lines and use of basic industrial building materials. Later, the penthouse of the building was inhabited by the famous Austrian skier Leo Gasperl, the fastest man in the sport between 1932 and 1947. Mollino, also a passionate skier, an instructor and the author of a 334-page manual on ski technique, dreamed of a functional, disciplined building for the sportsman--a Modernist concrete structure utilizing the traditional stone and wood constructions of northern Italy.