Gio Ponti was not only an architect but a poet, painter, polemicist, and designer of exhibitions, theater costumes, Venini glassware, Arthur Krupp tableware, Cassina furniture, lighting fixtures, and ocean liner interiors.
He is perhaps best known as the architect of Milan's Pirelli tower, at one time the tallest building in Europe, and for his "Super-leggera" chair which was first manufactured in the 1950s and has become classic because of its almost universal use in Italian restaurants.
Above all, Ponti was responsible for the renewal of Italian architecture and decorative arts. Drawing upon the legacy of the Viennese Secession and the Wiener Werkstatte, he transformed "classical" language into a rationalist vocabulary.
"Pure architecture is a crystal. When it is pure, it is clear like a crystal -- magic, closed, exclusive, autonomous, unsullied, absolute, conclusive like a crystal. Architecture refuses unfinished shapes… Architecture begins and ends. Architecture stands." -- Gio Ponti