The architecture of Gio Ponti is the axis of the new exhibition at the MAAXI in Rome.
The exhibition features archival material, original models, photographs, books, magazines, design classics closely related to Ponti's architectural projects and organized into eight sections that evoke key concepts expressed by Ponti himself. The setting is immersive and scenographic and suggests the idea of the master's space: fluid, dynamic, colorful. Already in the museum lobby, the visitor is greeted by a powerful installation of large banners in Alcantara, suspended in the full-height spaces of Zaha Hadid, which reproduce stylized facades of skyscrapers and evoke the skyline of a never before seen Pontian city.
Leaving the elevators that lead to Gallery 5, on the third floor, the reproduction of the fantastic yellow used for the pavement of the ramp immediately transports the visitor inside the most famous Pontian skyscraper: the Pirelli skyscraper in Milan.
Inside the Gallery, the entrance traces the theme of the house, central to Ponti's search for the definition of a space suited to modern life: and here are the first typical Milanese Domus, the projects for the suitable home exposed to Eurdomus in 1970 and, above all, the synthesis of many reflections carried out over time by the architect: his apartment in Via Dezza in Milan.
The path continues with a focus on the design Classicisms that Ponti had during the 1930s, when important commissions gave birth to impressive projects on an urban scale, such as the School of Mathematics of Rome, 1934, or the two Montecatini Palaces in Milan, of 1936 and 1951.
The osmotic relationship between architecture and nature is explored in Abitare la Natura, where the projects carried out along the Mediterranean coasts (Villa Marchesano in Bordighera, 1938, the Hotel Parco dei Principi in Sorrento, 1959) find their way to more organic, almost intimate, projects, like the Scarabeo house the villa for Daniel Koo in California.
Then we come to the most famous buildings which are the complete expression of a design thought that thinks through different levels rather than volumes, where the facades become two-dimensional surfaces to be pierced and folded like sheets of paper. Among these, the well-known Villa Planchart in Caracas (1953-57) or the Italian Institute of Culture in Stockholm in 1958, are works that also attest to the international level achieved by Ponti's work.