A quissential free spirit, Carlo Mollino was a great architect, furniture designer, photographer and all-around creative. Born in Turin, Piedmont, the top Italian furniture designer was known for his fast lifestyle but exquisite architectural renderings and furniture designs.
Mollino created unique pieces, usually as a one-time project, but his elongated shapes and play with form have impacted design worldwide. Mollino did not mass-produce his designs, which have created a sensation of being one of the top furniture designers in the world, with price tags in the several millions on his furniture designs at famous auction houses like Christie’s.
Mollino first got his start in 1930 when he started as an architect designing a house and began winning prizes such as the G. Pistono for his modern architectural designs.
Unfortunately, his most significant piece of architecture, the Societa Ippica Torinese was ruined in 1960. Created by Mollino in 1938, the building for a riding school had the ability to hold 115 horses, an indoor riding clubhouse and a building.
Mollino was well-known for listening to the beat of his own drummer, exploring adventurous retreats and living for the thrill of fast cars. During mid-century 1904s or so, the Italian furniture designer was being surrounded by current modern designers that were going after the sleek, chic designs in Italian furniture similar to the world-wide influence of minimalist design.
Mollino instead chose to continue to work with nature and its influences through the use of wood, animal horns, or even the curve of the human body to influence his modern furniture designs.
Key to his designs were the arches and elongated forms that took a functional piece of furniture such as a coffee table and converted it from function to art through the use of modern design techniques.
While Mollino had a heavy-hand in architecture, he truly flourished in furniture desgn.
Some of his top architectural projects include the Ippica, the House on the Agra plateau, the RAI Auditorium in Turin, the Casa del Sole, Cervinia and the Teatro Regio Torino, which is the prominent opera house and opera company in Turin, Italy.
While he had a strong presence in architecture, Mollino took time inbetween skiing and racing to create pieces for Zanotta in the 40s and 50s, cindluingtop designs of his Reale table in 1946, the ardea armchair, the 1950 Arabesque table, in addition to tables in the Italian Design of the Center and other chairs constructed of wood materials.
The reason most of his products sell extremely high off the shelf these days is because most of his furniture designs were one-time creations for specific clients who requested the designs. Mollino’s designed were rarely mass manufactured.