Carlo Mollino

Architect and Storyteller

Interior designer, photographer—and architect: Carlo Mollino was a legendary figure in 20th-century art and design. This is the authoritative book on his work in architecture.



Napoleone Ferrari, Michelangelo Sabatino. With contributions by Guy Nordenson and Sergio Pace, and with new photographs by Pino Musi

1st edition

, 2021

Text in English


456 pages, 502 color and 45 b/w illustrations

24 x 32 cm

ISBN 978-3-03860-133-3


Italian architect and designer Carlo Mollino (1905–73) is known to many for his furniture designs. Although none of Mollino’s designs were mass-produced, they command high prices among collectors of twentieth-century furniture and are part of the collections of major design museums. Others recall Mollino for his large secret stash of erotic Polaroids, taken throughout the 1960s and recovered among his personal effects after his death. The risqué photos have been the subject of several exhibitions and have inspired fashion designers, including Jeremy Scott, who drew on them when creating a recent collection for Moschino. Much less attention has been devoted to Mollino’s contribution to architecture.

With Carlo Mollino: Architect and Storyteller, Napoleone Ferrari and Michelangelo Sabatino offer the first carefully researched and comprehensive study of Mollino’s architectural work. Drawing on rich archival materials, as well as Mollino’s own writings, they argue persuasively that, while Mollino realized relatively few projects, his contributions to architecture—and, in particular, the modernist movement—are both significant and distinctive due to Mollino’s strong affinity with surrealism. The book features both built and unrealized projects, including masterpieces like the Teatro Regio and the Torino Chamber of Commerce and early, lesser-known works like the Torino Horse Riding Club and the Lago Negro chairlift station in the Italian Alps. Lavish illustrations and essays by Ferrari and Sabatino round out this overdue tribute to an extraordinary personality of twentieth-century architecture.


Napoleone Ferrari is the president of the Museo Casa Mollino that he cofounded in 1999 with Fulvio Ferrari. He is the author of several books and catalogues addressing Mollino’s architecture, design, and photography.


Michelangelo Sabatino is a Chicago-based educator, curator, and architectural historian. Sabatino is Professor and Director of the PhD Program at the IIT College of Architecture where he serves as Inaugural John Vinci Distinguished Research Fellow.

Autoren & Herausgeber

«Gerade der Bildteil mit über 500 Fotografien, Illustrationen und Konstruktionszeichnungen ist eine Fundgrube. Wie in diesem Buch mit dem historischen Material umgegangen wird, ist eine Augenweide. Man sieht Landschaften im Dialog mit Interieurs, Close-ups kollidieren auf Doppelseiten mit Panoramen, schwarzweisse treffen auf farbige Bilder mit herrlich ausgewaschenen Tönen. Vielleicht war den Machern bei diesem Visual Storytelling Mollinos berühmtes Wort leitende Maxime: ‹Alles ist erlaubt, solange es fantastisch ist.›». Gerrit Terstiege, monopol


«Was für ein Architekt, was für ein Buch! Die Zusammenarbeit der Herausgeber Napoleone Ferrari und Michelangelo Sabatino mit den Grafikern von Elektrosmog hat ein dichtes atmosphärisches, wissenschaftlich sorgfältig und schönes Kompendium hervorgebracht, das wie ein Füllhorn Freude, Anschauung und geistige Nahrung ausschüttet.» Tibor Joanelly, werken, bauen + wohnen


Lecture by Michelangelo Sabatino and Napoleone Ferrari: Carlo Mollino Architect & Designer at Yale School of Architecture available on YouTube!


Take a look at the discussion at the AIA Center for Architecture, New York, this September with Fulvio Ferrari, Founder, Museo Casa Mollino, Turin, Napoleone Ferrari, Director, Museo Casa Mollino, Turin Michelangelo Sabatino, Professor and PhD Program Director, and John Vinci Distinguished Research Fellow, IIT College of Architecture. Respondent and Q&A Moderator is Alicia Imperiale, PhD, Adjunct Associate Professor, Pratt Institute, School of Architecture. Full lecture available on vimeo!

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Mollino testing his self-designed racing car, the Bisiluro (twin torpedo), on the road that leads out of Turin to the royal Stupinigi Hunting Lodge, 1955. © Elirio Invernizzi

Horse Riding Club of Turin. A white stone portal surrounded by a metal folding diaphragm introduced the visitor to a transitional space animated by shadows created by the geometrical pattern of the metal diaphragm. © Private Collection

In 1953, Mollino designed, for each apartment of Casa del Sole, a rectangular table topped with green-blue Formica, a standard chair based upon traditional mountain types, and a floating fireplace. © Fulvio Ferrari

The north corner of the Casa del Sole. © Photograph Pino Musi, 2016

Casa Cattaneo © Photograph Pino Musi, 2016

The view that greets the visitor arriving at the Garelli’s Taleuc Rascard and its main entrance © Photograph Pino Musi, 2016

The ceiling of the auditorium of the Regio Opera House is decorated with a work of optical art by graphic designer Mimmo Castellano. © Fabrizio Carraro

Teatro Regio 1965-73, Turin. The staircase and escalator floating behind the curtain wall of the main entrance. © Photograph Pino Musi, 2016

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