Mirare al paesaggio. La casa Cattaneo di Carlo Mollino sull’altopiano di Agra

Aim for the landscape. The Cattaneo house by Carlo Mollino on the Agra plateau

 

DOI:10.30682/aa1903d
 
Sergio Pace
 
(Napoli, 1963) is full professor of History of Architecture at the Dipartimento di Architettura e Design, Politecnico di Torino, where he is also the Rector’s delegate for Libraries, Archives and Museums.
 
Keywords: Carlo Mollino, modern architecture, design, yard, landscape.
 
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In 1952, Carlo Mollino was entrusted by Luigi Cattaneo, an entrepreneur from Milan, with the project of a villa to be built on a huge site on the plateau of Agra, near Luino. The challenge was taken up by the architect, who imagined an extraordinary approach: the architecture was anchored to the ground, thanks to a powerful embankment, and then stretched out into the landscape, thanks to an exceptional overhang that allowed it to embrace an extraordinary landscape, made up of the lake with the surrounding mountains. Starting from this intuition, which became evident from the very first sketches of the project, the story of Casa Cattaneo in Agra became the story of a difficult relationship and, often, of the explicit conflicts between an architect who, at all costs, wanted to preserve the wholeness of his original idea, expressed through drawings considered irreplaceable, and a client who, instead, tried to overcome delays and misunderstandings by entrusting the execution of the project to others.