Gio Ponti's Superleggera Renewed

Gio Ponti's 1957 chair still wows

Cassina USA introduces a re-imagined Superleggera by Gio Ponti. This iconic chair, designed in 1957, is rendered in a black and white combination lacquer. Famous already for it's lightness, the half and half paint job makes it appear half again as light. Cassina has also added removable padded fabric or leather seats in a variety of colors.

This special black and white version has not been seen since the 1950's when it was created by Ponti for exhibitions but never produced for sale. “In the darkness” said Ponti “it will be even lighter because it will be supported by just two legs".

The same architect and designer regarded the 699 chair, better known as the ‘Superleggera’, to be one of his three masterpieces (together with the Pirelli Tower in Milan and the Concattedrale of Taranto). It represents a symbol of perfection and balance between solidity and lightness, with a triangular section of just 18 millimetres and 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.

Cassina’s activities in the 1950’s were closely related to the work of Ponti. Their shared interest in experimentation and research resulted in the creation of an innovative production model for the furniture industry that not only led to a new role for the artisan, intended as a craftsman of quality items and the starting point for the experimentation of serial pieces, but also an Italian industrial design concept based on the relationship between the designer and entrepreneur, still fundamental to Cassina’s production today.

This fertile period saw the construction of the Alitalia offices and the eighth floor Auditorium of the Time and Life Building in New York, designed by Gio Ponti. It also spawned the armchairs designed by Ponti for Cassina which furnished the great Italian Transatlantic liners like the Andrea Doria, the Conte Grande, and the Giulio Cesare, creating the first bridge between the USA and Made in Italy. Ponti regarded these great ships as floating works of art, able to transport Italian excellence in all its forms across the ocean. Today Cassina takes Gio Ponti back to the USA, where he will be celebrated as one of the great geniuses of Italian creativity.

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