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by Napoleone Ferrari

with an unpublished text by Carlo Mollino
“Country Architecture in the Upper Aosta Valley”

Text in English, 128 pages, 239 colour photos, hardbound,
215 x 285 mm

ISBN 978-88-89082-05-8

€ 37,00

Year of edition 2007

The "Casa del Sole" apartment block in the Italian ski resort
of Cervinia represents Carlo Mollino's solution
to the Modernist quest for economical and functional housing
in the mountains

The "Casa del Sole" apartment block, 1951-54, was built by the architect Carlo Mollino in the Italian ski resort of Cervinia. It represents Mollino's solution to the Modernist quest for economical and functional housing in the mountains to develop ski tourism right after the war. This vertical structure is a peculiar interpretation of the Modern Style and is a reinforced concrete construction: Mollino successfully merges the modern with the tradition of Italian mountain wood and stone buildings, which he carefully studied. Furniture for the apartments are part of his most mature design with their strong architectural and structural characterization made using simple industrial working methods and materials.

For the first time, two essays on mountain architecture by Carlo Mollino are translated into English. The drawings of vernacular architecture with their accompanying notes, published here for the first time ever, are particularly important.. These studies point out one of the most important sources for Mollino's architectural and design expression.

A story develops around the building, so turning a piece of architecture into an "architectural novel" set in Cervinia's luckiest period, at that time the meeting place in the mountains for the Dolce Vita royal families and nobility, actors, sportsmen and businessmen.

Casa del Sole was commissioned by Lora Totino the visionary engineer who invented from scratch the Cervinia ski resort, at the border with Switzerland, and in the late 30s built the longest and highest cableways in the world.

Austrian Leo Gasperl lives in the penthouse of the building. He was the fastest man on skis between 1932 and 1947 and was the founder of the Italian downhill skiing team in 1932 and considered the most elegant skier. He was Mollino's favourite model for the study of skiing technique and the subject of his photography, which in 1950 was issued in the 334 pages of his treatise on skiing: Introduction to Downhill skiing.

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