Experience the boundless vision of one of the greatest architects, designers, and art directors of the 20th century with this limited edition art edition from TASCHEN. T
he Planchart Coffee Table
- an exclusive, square format reproduction of the famous Arlecchino design, produced for TASCHEN by Molteni&C - is accompanied by a set of four numbered prints of Ponti’s interior ocean liner studies and an immersive book shaped in close collaboration with the Gio Ponti Archives and its founder Salvatore Licitra. The Arlecchino lattice coffee table is regarded as one of Gio Ponti’s most iconic designs. Echoing the pictorial approach of De Stijl artists Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg, its surface relies on a vibrant structural grid for multiple color combinations that vary according to the viewer’s movement around the table. Contrary to the more commonly available round design, this reissue
celebrates the piece in a square format, originally created in 1954 as a unique example for Ponti’s Villa Planchart – the Planchart Coffee Table
The new book is the most comprehensive account of Ponti’s work to date, and tracks the development of his oeuvre over 6 decades, with 136 projects indexed and reproduced in high resolution. Like windows onto his elusive life, unpublished materials and candid imagery create new dialogues between his famous masterpieces and his lesser-known feats. A rich layer of texts, featuring an extensive biographical essay by Stefano Casciani offers an intimate insight into his life’s work.
The four prints are drawings from 1948–49 now conserved in the CSAC, an institution of Parma University to which the Ponti family entrusted a stupendous archive of original drawings. These are valuable, fragile, competition drawings for the interiors of the ocean liners Conte Grande and Conte Biancamano, which were both launched in 1949. They testify to Ponti’s efforts to create different spaces for these ships, each with its own very particular design. In Ponti’s mind, they were spaces invented to foster the elegant and contemplative atmosphere inherent to a luxury cruise accompanied by the best that the arts and most sophisticated craftsmen of Italy could offer.