Friday, September 25, 2009


When I think of vintage modern furnishings invariably the classic icons come to mind; Le Corbusier, Mies van de Rohe, Marcel Breuer, Eero Saarinen, Alvar Aalto, Jean Prouvè, Arne Jacobsen, George Nelson or Florence Knoll. But when I think of exceptional Italian vintage modern art forms the name Gio Ponti (1891-1979) registers.

Ponti’s architectural career spanned roughly five decades from the 1920’s – 1970’s. Certainly a pinnacle of his career was the commission to design the 32-story Pirelli Tower in Milan in the early 1950’s. It was the first skyscraper in Milan. Thereafter international commissions flourished for Ponti with work in “Caracas
, Venezuela, Baghdad, Hong Kong, Eindhoven, the 1971 Denver Art Museum, and finally a series of Milanese churches: San Francesco in 1963, the church at Ospedale San Carlo in 1967, and the Taranto Cathedral in 1971”.

In addition to architecture Ponti pursued industrial design which included a line of furnishings, lighting and ceramics. He designed for Cassina, Artemide and Fontana Arte. Given the broad scope of his work, this post will confine itself photo-wise to only a few of his furniture designs.

images: (click on images to enlarge)
Executive walnut desk, vintage
Lounge chairs Hotel Parco dei Principi, vintage
Montecatini office chair, vintage
Coffee table, vintage
Distex lounge chair, vintage

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