Attilio Lutrario
tells to Fulvio Ferrari

Attilio Jr., seventeen years old, remembers very well his first encounter with Mollino (8): "While we and Bordogna were expecting on site by a persistent drizzle and we were sheltering under a makeshift canopy, he comes with a "Cinquecento Giardinetta" with wooden slats, some pending on the sides. It cames out a strange person, with the air of a craftsman, a plumber, a carpenter, and he presented himself as Carlo Mollino. We were expecting a very different person. My father was a bit surprised, but if Bordogna suggested him to us we had to trust and stay calm...
As we tackled the themes of the project, Mollino asked us to move to stay dry, and again, but inevitably we returned always to discuss over the soggy ground of the building, until I confess I had holes in my shoes and the feet completely wet. Soon the client and architect meet the utopia status. The Lutrario's one has been explained by his son: "My father had no money, but he immediately accepted the parcel that Mollino had requested". The visionary designer, however, thought the occasion to translate the architecture into a fairy tale for dancers of walzer, to be built between the tracks, factories and scrap. At the same time, exactly in 1960, the architect designed the Casa Mollino in Napione street, another project directly related to a sort of fairy-tale nature. Also in Lutrario music hall the walls were totally covered with huge posters of trees taken from old engravings or stunning colors of tiles. The light choice, was made with the suspension of simple colored plastic cylinders, Mollino anticipates the concept that then he will use in the suspended lights that make up the large bright cloud in the room of the Teatro Regio, another place of magic music event.

Attilio jr racconta: ”Noi non sapevamo mai bene dove stesse portando il progetto. Mollino però seguiva attentamente ogni fase e dettaglio di esecuzione. Se lo riteneva necessario ci spiegava e schizzava ogni cosa con immediata vivezza. Ci rendemmo conto, ad un certo punto che la sua parcella era largamente giustificata da questo rassicurante modo di operare. Quando ci propose, per esempio, di rivestire con piastrelle alcune zone del locale, mio padre rimase inizialmente scettico: bagni e case chiuse erano a quel tempo i luoghi “piastrellati”.

Attilio Jr. said: "We never knew exactly where he was carrying the project. Mollino, however, followed closely every step and detail of execution. If he thought it was necessary he explained with some sketchs everything with immediate vividness. We realized, at some point that his parcel was widely justified by this way of working. When we suggested, for example, to coat some parts of the ballroom with tiles, my father was initially skeptical: at that time baths and brothels were the places "tiled". Mollino then invited him to Vietri to choose the materials with him. He knew very well that my father would not leave the yard and agreed with him that was accompanied by me: have been three unforgettable days! Mollino took me to Naples with a cold polar piloting his Spitfire that he still had the holes on the wings for the gunner. He said he had a second, in the hangar for spare parts. Once in Vietri said that put on the ground every type of tile produced, perhaps I thought that the catalogs were not sufficiently faithful reproduction of the color scheme? He always asked me what I thought. I did not understand almost anything, but Mollino made the majolica show a priceless happening. At the tea-time had remained about fifteen models, and without explanation he decided to stop and be back the next day. At the restaurant he did not eat almost anything, but he liked to see me replete. The next morning he chose precisely the exact amount of tiles for each decorations designed. When these tiles were assembled in Turin following the complicated patchwork designed for ballroom, I realized that his calculation was miraculous.

 Mollino argued with the smith because the execution did not comply strictly with the design of every inch of curvature of the metal railings and argued with the tiler who decided to add some tile to the original draw and decide to redo the original composition of the costly steps made in tempered etched glass by Cristal-Art. After the 32 visits that occurred over time by various committees of safety, the flammable velvet disappeared, the woods photo paper and original sessions. Then appeared a scale compliant with the straight handrail, while there are still the bright stalactites, thanks to Prefect who wanted to declare it in accordance personally.

8. Fulvio Ferrari, “The Unexpected Mollino”, Casa Vogue, Dicembre 2004