Gio Ponti (18 November 1891, Milan – 16 September 1979, Milan) was one of the most important Italian architects, industrial designers, furniture designers, artists, and publishers of the twentieth century.
Ponti began his architectural career in partnership with Mino Fiocchi and Emilio Lancia from 1923 through 1927, and then through 1933 with Lancia only, as Studio Ponti e Lancia PL. In these years he was influenced by and associated with the Milanese neo-classical Novecento Italiano movement. Output of the time includes the 1925 house on Via Randaccio in Milan, the 1926 Bouilhet villa in Garches, Paris, the 1929 Monument to the Fallen with the Novecento architect Giovanni Muzio the Casa Rasini apartment blocks in Milan, and the 1930 Domus Julia–Domus Fausta complex on Via Letizia.
Around 1933, Ponti ended his relationship with Lancia and teamed with two engineers, Antonio Fornaroli and Eugenio Soncini, to form Studio Ponti-Fornaroli-Soncini which would last until 1945. Their first major commission was the 1936 company headquarters for the Italian chemical firm Montecatini, followed by a number of other industrial and university commissions through the war years, offices for Fiat, and the Palazzo del Liviano for the University of Padua in which Ponti himself painted frescos.
Ponti in 1950 won the commission to design the 32-story Pirelli Tower in collaboration with Pier Lugi Nurvi and Arturo Danusso. This was the second skyscraper built in Milan, and likely the climax of Ponti's entire career. Construction began in 1956.
Throughout his life-time Gio Ponti designed furniture for his projects including the Montecatini chair in 1936 and the furnishings for the Ponti House on via Dezza.