1. 2. 3. 4. Introduction Life history Contributions and style Major works


“Love architecture, be it ancient or modern. Love it for its fantastic, adventurous and solemn creations; for its inventions; for the abstract, allusive and figurative forms that enchant our spirit and enrapture our thoughts. Love architecture, the stage and support of our lives…."

………Those were the words with which Gio Ponti (1891-1979) began the 1957 collection of essays he published in Italian as Amate L'Architettura, and in English as In Praise of Achitecture.

they eventually would have four children and eight grandchildren. • Gio Ponti graduated with a degree in Architecture in 1921 from the Politecnico di Milano University. • Parents were Enrico Ponti and Giovanna Rigone • He did military service during the first world war with the rank of captain. from 1916 to 1918. . • In 1921. he married Giulia Vimercati.• An Italian. receiving the Bronze Medal and the Italian Military Cross. born in Milan on 18th November 1891.

Gio Ponti played many roles in his long career: • • • • • • Architect industrial designer craftsman poet painter Journalist .


Career biography… .

• 1936 Construction of the first Montecatini headquarters in Milan. an art and architecture magazine. • 1928 Founds Domus. • 1926 Designs his first house on Via Randaccio in Milan. • 1948 Unveils the La Pavoni coffee machine and begins a four year commission to restore four Italian liners with Nino Zoncada. • 1923 Becomes artistic director of Richard-Ginori. which he establishes as Europe’s most influential architecture and design magazine. having interrupted his studies during World War I. • 1946 Start of three year project to design Murano glassware for Venini. .• 1921 Finally graduates. the ceramics manufacturer for which he wins the Grand Prix at the 1925 Paris Expo. • 1941 Quits Domus to found Stile.

a lighter version of 1955's Leggera Chair. in Caracas.• 1950 Collaborates with Fornasetti on interior of the Casino at San Remo. • 1955 Completion of Villa Planchart. • 1960 Builds Villa Nemazee in Tehran. • 1964 Interior design of Hotel Parco dei Principe in Rome and its (recently restored) sister hotel in Sorrento. . or the "Butterfly House". • 1956 Construction of the Pirelli Tower as "a graphic slogan" in Milan. • 1957 Design of Superleggera Chair for Cassina. • 1970 Construction of Taranto Cathedral conceived as a very visible "sail". the Denver Art Museum. Builds Church of San Francesco in Milan. • 1972.

Drawn letter by Gio Ponti .

from small residential dwellings to high rise buildings. This book provides an introduction to Ponti creative process and gives an overview of the various phases of his career. One of his great interests was the theme of the home. elegant spaces were designed to inspire optimism in their occupants. Ponti’s colorful. he moved on to furniture and interior design and built structures of all kinds. schools.Graziella Roccella in her book ‘Gio Ponti: 1891-1979. and office blocks. . for which he continually sought to find new solutions. The founder and nearly lifelong editor of domus magazine never stopped developing and reinventing his style. Master of Lightness‟ Italian architect and designer Gio Ponti (18911979) was the creator of a multifaceted oeuvre. Starting off with ceramics and majolika works at the First International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Monza. carefree.

Contributions/Style… .

• soft colours. elegant. exotic and creative. stylish and raffined.• Gio Ponti is rightfully known as the godfather of italy's post-war design renaissance. exuberant patterns . who made his designs sophisticated. • Italian art deco reached its pinnacle under Gio Ponti. but also modern.

manufactured by d'agostino.floor tiles for parco dei principe in rome. salerno. 1968 'centolettere' collection of tiles manufactured by ceramica bardelli. . 1950's.

1927 .„conversazione classica'.

maiolica vases for richard ginori. 1953 for ideal standard. ca. 1925 serie B . milan .

rome. 1964 'distex' lounge chair. 1953 .settee. designed for the hotel parco principe.

'novedra'. upholstered chair 1968 '969' chair for montina .

artisan tall ladder-back chair. ca. 1958 .

'pirellina'. 1969 . 1931 for fontana arte 'fato' for artemide.1967 for fontana arte 'pirellone'. 1967 for fontana arte 'bilia'.

• Gio Ponti‟s work is characterized by grace and clarity. Ponti believed that “architecture is made to be looked at. they are all of the city that appears.” . and a city is made of streets. the facades are the visible part of the city. “Facades are the wall of the street.” It is public landscape.

Major Works… .


.This classic Modernist house was designed in 1955. Here Ponti created almost every aspect of the project from the architecture and interiors to most of the furniture and objects as well….

A model of the villa…. .

• Gio Ponti designed not only the house but selected all the furnishings and decorative objects. The modernist principle of integration of the arts with the architecture was naturally carried out in this building. Many of which were also designed by him as well as carefully planning and executing the relationship between architecture and landscape. .

.Villa Planchart interior design..


.Villa Planchart Staircase Decorative Wall….

outer decorative wall…. .



The appearance of the entry. A wing with its large cantilever shades the outdoor car park…. .

Left: The natural environment in which the house stands is on top of a ‘cerrito’ (a small hill). the garden was not designed but created with a wonderful collection of trees and tropical flowers chosen by the clients themselves who have a great love for these things and are very knowledgeable about them. On the ‘cerrito’ around the house. Right: the facade towards Caracas… .

In the master bedroom. depending on the position of the swivel panel covering the niche… . the wall unit houses a jade collection. In the central illuminated display case. there is a surprising play of positive and negative.

The innovative skyscraper. . was instantly recognized as an international landmark when it was completed in 1959 as the headquarters of Pirelli. nicknamed Pirellone (Big Pirelli).PIRELLI TOWER.MILAN… • The slender Pirelli Tower was the first building in Milan to surpass the height of the cathedral.

Ponti was both a designer and architect who created items ranging from coffee machines and chairs to houses and even churches. The combined knowledge and creative thinking of these two led to a truly innovative skyscraper. spearheaded by Gio Ponti and Pier Luigi Nervi. Nervi was one of the greatest engineers of his time. It was designed by a collective of architects. specialized in concrete structures. .Creation • Construction of the tower started in 1955 at the site where the company's first factory stood since 1872.

except for a narrow gap that runs all the way from the bottom to the top. supported by concrete piers that decrease in size as it approaches the top of the building. reinforcing the image of a tall and narrow tower. Thanks to Nervi's technical knowledge it was possible for Ponti to design a tower with a very narrow base.Design • The most striking aspect of the Pirelli Tower's design is its slender shape. The building's slender appearance is reinforced by the receding concrete walls that hold the service areas at either side of the building. A similar gap between the roof and top floor result in a roof that seems to float above the building. Here the front and back facade almost touch each other. .




which for centuries marked the highest point in the city. and its form can be found in other skyscrapers . Today it isn't even the tallest tower in the city. but the iconic building is still the most elegant and architecturally successful skyscraper in Milan. Soon after its completion the building became an inspiration for other architects. For a short time after its completion in 1959 the tower also held the title of the world's tallest reinforced concrete building. It was the first building that rose above the top of the Madonnina on the Duomo.• The Pirelli Tower rises from a small base straight up to a height of 127 meter (417ft).


North Building • In 1971. The seven-story structure.000-square-foot building allowed the museum to display its collections under one roof for the first time. The North Building was an innovative move away from traditional." said Gio Ponti. More than a million reflective glass tiles on the building‟s exterior complement the dramatic windows and pierced roofline of the building‟s castle-like facade. the museum opened what is now known as the North Building. . 210. temple-style museum architecture. and these thin but jealous walls defend it. "Art is a treasure. designed by Italian architect Gio Ponti and Denver-based James Sudler Associates.

.The 1971 art museum building….


“Pure architecture is a crystal. unsullied. absolute. When it is pure. autonomous.” . it is clear like a crystal – magic. closed. conclusive like a crystal. exclusive.

‘Gio Ponti:ò_Ponti na/.html www...domusweb. Master of Lightness‟ by Graziella Roccella www.cassina../villa-planchartcaracas-1953-57- o o .Bibliography… o o o o en.wikipedia./detail?.com/portrait/ponti/