Moka Dwellings

Aldo Rossi, 1984
Aldo Rossi, 1984

I was a bit surprised to find the confluence between Bialetti and Aldo Rossi. It seems that the whole world wants to dwell in moka pots. As far as I know though, Bialetti wasn’t a powerhouse of architectural theory like Rossi.

Aldo Rossi

Perhaps it’s just in the rules that if you’re an Italian designer, at some point in your career you’ve got to tackle a moka pot.

In Italy, it began as Stile Liberty, before it fused with the modernist/futurist machine obsession to become art deco.

The distinction with Stile Liberty (art nouveau) is that it’s a total art—an art that includes household utilitarian objects.


Moka express, 1933

The first Bialetti moka pot from 1933 was clearly an art deco design, designed by Alphonso Bialetti—the moka express.

It’s pretty close to that famous version that Renato Bialetti put his moustache on in 1958.

What I wasn’t aware of until tonight, though, is that the Bialetti company also had ties to Borlotto Bugatti, who made brass and stainless steel cutlery.

I’m not sure of the relationship with Carlo Bugatti, the furniture designer who fathered Ettore Bugatti of expensive car fame.

t0319vergara-bugatti-home_feat3_2Of course, there had to be a Bugatti Moka pot as well.

One of my favorite anecdotes on the Bugatti car web site is:

“A customer complained that his car did not start properly in winter.

Bugatti replied that if he could afford a Bugatti, he could surely also afford a heated garage.”

Too racy for me. I didn’t locate a price on that one.


MokaAldo Rossi has two moka pot designs that I located. The first, La Conica, in mirror polished stainless steel doesn’t come cheap at $275.

It’s a looker though, I must say. I love the lines.

The second,  done in aluminum like the original Bialetti, called La Cupola looks a bit too much like a thermos for my liking. I wouldn’t like to live there.