Yesterday I participated as guide to a tour promoted by Triennale di Milano. The tour explored some Gio Ponti’s architectures in Milan. In particular, I had to show the “typical domuses” in Via privata Letizia, Via del Caravaggio and Via de Togni, the “house like me” in Via Dezza and the San Francesco Church.
In “typical domuses” Gio Ponti expounded his idea of architecture as solidly based on the central theme of “domestic” culture, understood as the hinge of a more general and ambitious reformulation of the philosophy of “modern” living. The innovative charachter of these buildings is reflected in the notion of the facade as the mirror of internal organization, in the fact that interiors are set up on the basis of use, in the constant attention given to the quality of executive and technological standards. Here we find many “Pontian inventions”, like the “movable furnishings” (showcases, shelves, partitions etc, to split the room up into areas for different uses), like the “furnished offices” (closets along the entire wall as an integration of the apartment), like the “window-displays” that create special areas under the window sill.
The house in Via Dezza was a “demonstrative dwelling place” of the Pontian idea of the “free plan”, a laboratory-house where he could experiment the most urgent suggestions from his “book of ideas”: from the “decorated window” to “self-lighting furniture”, from the “open plan” to the “organized wall”.
Here we met Letizia Ponti, Ponti’s third daughter: she told us a lot of stories and memories about her father. It was a really nice and interesting experience to learn more and more about this great architect and designer!
(photos on my flickr and info from the book Gio Ponti edited by Cosmit ’97)