june 30

Casa Capriata 1954 - 2008
A work by Carlo Mollino in the context of the XXIII UIA World Congress
Politecnico di Torino, Valentino Castle, Sala delle Colonne, Viale Mattioli 39
June 30 2008, 6 p.m.

The exhibit will offer a preview of the Carlo Mollino mountain refuge project to be built in the Weissmatten district at a height of 2,100 meters above sea level along the Walserweg near the wooden teahouse of Queen Margherita of Savoy. The project promoting the building of the unfinished work by architect Carlo Mollino, an experimental wooden prototype designed for the 10th Triennale of Milan (1954).

The initiative, one of the Official Events of the 23rd International Conference of Architecture, will accept the challenge made by Carlo Mollino in the 10th Triennale of Milan over 54 years ago: to plan an innovative type of architecture, both cultivated and refined, which is able to relate to the history and values of a cultural landscape such as the alpine. The same dream which was cultivated and pursued through subsequent phases, has been proposed once again in the “Casa Capriata 1954-2008” project as an occasion not only to celebrate the architect from Turin, but also to offer a contribution to the XXIII UIA Conference which, with the title “Transmitting Architecture”, will promote a debate on “the trends, places and shades of the architectural profession which is ever more sensible to the values of quality of life, landscape and environment”. There is an indelible trace in the writings and works of Carlo Mollino of a sensibility for these aspects of the architectural profession, from among which the Casa Capriata emerges as an emblem of the coherent path of personal and project management research.

Throughout 2008 this ideal house, which has been elaborated several times – in its construction aspects, in its dimensional aspects, in its ground support – from 1946 to 1954 for different occasions – the Vetroflex – Domus Competition (1951), the X Triennale of Milan (1954) – will later be relocated to the same scenic and cultural context which had inspired Mollino for his research project: the Valle D’Aosta.

The building would find, in the Weissmatten ski territory at an altitude of 2020 meters, the ideal landscape in which it could be inserted coherently with what its creator had hypothesized: “this is a house for “extremist” skiers, (…) This is a house placed directly in the “workplace”, on the ski slopes”.

Casa Capriata, like the Sled Station of Black Lake, the most significant work of Mollino among those planned for the alpine context, is located above Sauze d’Oulx (TO) at an altitude of 2400 meters. This project, planned in 1947, will be reachable on foot, on skis or by chairlift. This architecture which emerged in a peaceful alpine landscape can be admired according to the idea of Carlo Mollino who, in regards to his project production affirmed: “The best explanation for one’s own work is the silent, solemn exposition of the work itself”.