Carlo Mollino designs get a lease of life from Zanotta
Take a first look at Zanotta’s recreations of Carlo Mollino–designed products – presented, photographed and filmed inside the Italian architect’s 1973 Regio Theatre in Turin
The professional paths of Zanotta and Carlo Mollino first crossed in 1981. Although the famous architect from Turin had died several years earlier, the Italian company set out to study the projects present in his archives. Mollino did not design for large-scale industrial production lines, preferring to use artisans and small scale manufacturers, each whom made essential contributions to the original projects.
Mollino’s designs and sketches were never finalised technical drawings, usable for the reproduction of his work, instead they were starting points to be discussed and picked apart in the workshop. In the same vein, following both careful study of the designs and of technological innovations, Zanotta launches the Mollino Collection CM 2020.
After analysing the original documents found in the archives, Zanotta has brought the designs up to date on the basis of innovations and demands made by the market. Carlo Oliviero, general manager of Zanotta talks about ‘a new interpretation of the designs with maniacal attention to detail and a semi-handmade approach to production’.
The collection sees the return of Fenis, the solid wood alpine chair; Gilda the reclinable armchair and Ardea the bergère; the sinuous and organic Cavour, Reale and Arabesco tables; the container Carlino and mirror Milo – pieces that Gio Ponti dubbed bizarre beings. It is also thanks to the Politecnico di Torino (the Polytechnic university of Turin), as guardian of the CM archives, that the range is so faithful to the designs of Carlo Mollino.
This project marks the return of his furniture to the more mainstream market after its long sojourn in the exclusive collectors’ sphere. Mollino Collection CM 2020 contradicts the architect’s reputation as an outsider, as surrealist and esoteric and shows him as what he was: a master of calculations and speed, of dynamic lines and strong volumes. Mollino said of himself, ‘as well as being both poet and mathematician, [he] must also be mechanic, accountant, lawyer, fool, master of etiquette, humble and accepting yet always charming, a dancing partner for old ladies, a snake charmer; he faces pain of death if he refuses’.
The Mollino Collection CM 2020 was recently presented in the Regio Theatre in Turin, a fantastic building designed by Mollino in 1973 enriched with the monumental light installations by Gino Sarfatti. The video of the event reveals the new pieces during a musical performance where the furniture pieces play the role of eloquent starring partners. §