Design & Real Estate

Industrial Vision

The early 1950s marked a turning point in Gio Ponti’s furniture designs, ushering the brand toward highly innovative solutions linked to functional and essential shapes. More than 60 years later, this revolutionary style is reborn courtesy of Molteni&C.
Words // Sandy Lindsey | November 28, 2021 | Design & Real Estate

The Round armchair was initially imagined by Gio Ponti in 1954. At that time, the design held together all the energy, positivity and enthusiasm of the following decade. “From a design perspective, this armchair has an independent shape, close to a sculpture, a statement of stylistic freedom of the interior design visual rules of the previous years,” says Salvatore Licitra, Curator of Gio Ponti Archives. The project name, Round (D.154.5), comes from the rounded shape of the seat and backrests, also referred to as the “soap bar.” It has very modern shapes, which have never been thought of before. Characterized by avant-garde materials and technologies, such as the Vipla (a plastic material that resembles leather) for the upholstery, curved plywood to join the backrest and seat, and metal feet with non-slip tips that are easy to assemble. Round (D.154.5) is also referred to as Otto Pezzi (Eight Pieces) in the Ponti/Fornaroli/Rosselli study. In fact, there are 8 pieces that make up the chair: the backrest, seat, two curved plywood elements and four legs, which screw into the seat to hold the whole thing together. As with all the projects in the Heritage Collection in collaboration with the Gio Ponti Archives, the careful study of drawings, photos and period materials has made it possible to faithfully reproduce the armchair in every detail, bringing a forgotten masterpiece back to life;