Cult Classics: Life and works of Giò Ponti

Giò Ponti lies amongst the very greatest of Italy’s design talents. His work was vast and varied, dabbling in the realms of automobiles, furniture, interiors as well as building architecture. He was a pivotal figure in the history of twentieth-century design, remaining a firm source of inspiration for designers to this day.

Ceramic vessels designed by Ponti for Richard Ginori, c. 1924.

The works for which Ponti  is best known range from early ceramic work as design director for Richard Ginori, his architectural works, Milan’s Pirelli Tower and the Museum of Modern Art in Denver, his automobile designs for Alfa Romeo, interiors for Italian luxury liners, bathroom fixtures for American Standard and that very famous Superleggera chair for Cassina.

Pirelli Tower, Milano, 1958

It was the 32-story Pirelli Tower, the second skyscraper built in Milan, that many say was the climax of Ponti’s architectural career. It certainly raised his profile amongst the international community with Ponti drawing attention and commissions from places as far and wide as Venezuela and Baghdad, to Hong Kong and Denver.

Superleggera chair, 1957

Ponti himself regarded the Superleggera chair as one of his three masterpieces (together with the Pirelli Tower and the Concattedrale of Taranto). It represents a symbol of perfection and balance between solidity and lightness, with a minimum weight of 1,700 grams. It is the fruit of Gio Ponti’s research and the experimental and creative ability and expertise of Cassina and its craftsmen, who have produced this chair non-stop since 1957. Ponti said of his superbly symmetrical design that “In the darkness it will be even lighter because it will be supported by just two legs”.

The chair is a beautiful classic and we currently have one in store. Hurry, this piece will not stay on the floor for long.

Superleggera chair by Gio Ponti, available at HFOC for $680.71.

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