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Ponti apartment in Via Dezza

1957 Milan


The apartment in which Gio Ponti lived, with his family, from 1957 onward (his last house), contains all of the Pontian inventions with regard to layout, walls, furniture, and objects that had appeared during the fifties, and that had originated even earlier. Here they are brought together, for the first time, in a unit and for real: from the open space with sliding walls to the furnished windows, self illuminating furniture, organized wall panels, diagonally striped floor and ceiling, single colour scheme here, white and yellow, identical chairs and beds for the entire apartment, and paintings placed on stands instead of hung on the walls. A demonstration house. And one in which everything came from the same mind and hand.And then the demonstration changed as Ponti's thinking about the house progressed. This highly liveable open space for five people turned into something else when Ponti lived there on his own: a free space in which to roam, amidst growing piles of drawings and paintings. Paintings on perspex too, an idea that Ponti came up with toward the end of his life, paintings to be looked at against the light, like stained-glass windows. At the age of eighty-six, Ponti painted twenty large angels on perspex,and thought about making, with this window painting displayed on every floor, a movable decoration for the whole facade of the apartment building -he was always thinking in festive terms, residents permitting. The facade would have allowed this: a facade of superimposed bands, in which, on every floor, the residents had been allowed to choose their own «outside colour, and even their own pattern of windows. Almost spontaneous architecture, Ponti used to say.