The legendary Gio Ponti. This fundamentally innovative architect has a long list of trades to his name; industrial designer, artist, teacher, writer, publisher and of course furniture designer. As a native son of Milan, he was responsible for designing the Pirelli Tower there. This is his most well-known work as an architect, but his career spans a period of sixty years during which he completed numerous other remarkable and groundbreaking projects.
The same is true of the illustrious magazine Domus which he founded in 1928 and paralleled all his endeavours. Ponti has designed a considerable amount of furniture, almost all of which belong in an aesthetically superior category and in an incredibly consistent way. He definitely layed the foundation for what later became known as Italian design. Mass-produced furniture with a relience on top notch craftmanship. This set of lounge chairs “Model 811” for Figli di Amadeo Cassina can rightly be called masterpieces and at the same time represent the transition from traditional furniture making to mass production.
These chairs, as it were, defy all conventions of a classic lounge chair through Ponti's modern approach to this futuristic design. Clean lines and sublime proportions alternate and above all reinforce the dynamic character that characterizes this chair. The frame is made of a dark-colored walnut with a screw in two places, namely the upper part of the armrest, that connects the backrest to the frame. The front and back legs, armrests, and the bottom rail that reinforce the legs result in a geometric trapezoidal shape. Except for the sleepers, nothing is really straight and the widely spaced legs that make contact with the floor abruptly and determinedly provide a sense of movement, velocity even.
The seat bends past the center of the frame and bends up again at the connection to the back legs. A pair of strong and especially graceful wooden wings protrude prominently above the rest. The seating comfort is achieved by a suspension system consisting of elastic rubber Pirelli strips that are placed crosswise. Decidely progressive at the time. On the edge of the frame, a steel rod has been fitted to the milled piece that tapers at the ends and the rubber strips are pressed against the frame with this. We have completely reupholstered the cushions in a red fabric from Kvadrat and are attached to the frame with black leather straps. The original logo of Figli di Amadeo Cassina still adorns the rear connecting line of both copies.
The condition of this set of Model 811 lounge chairs is very good with minor discolorations and scratches on the frame.