Pirellone Floor Lamp

Gio Ponti - 1967
1.900,00 VAT excl.
SAVE € 48

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After having won the commission with fellow engineers Nervi and Danusso to design the 32-story Pirelli tower in Milan, when construction started in the mid-fifties Gio Ponti temporarily handed the artistic direction of Fontana Arte over to Frenchman Max Ingrand. 

He makes his comeback as art director in 1967 and designs a new collection of lamps, inspired by skyscraper profiles and lighting. What better name than Pirellina and Pirellone, a tribute to, by then, Milan’s most famous skyscraper?

The namesake lamps garner the same success as the Pirelli tower, which remains the most emblematic section of the Milan skyline, while Pirellone and Pirellina continue to be lighting classics, firm favourites in the FontanaArte catalogue for over 40 years.

Two pieces of curved glass are fastened into place by upper and lower metal elements. The secret of this uncomplicated structure lies in the use of a special impact-resistant glass. The two bowls embrace the light sources and, when the light is switched on, it reveals the different levels of the coupled structure. Alternating beams of light and shade mimic the vertical position of skyscraper windows.

So what is the difference between Pirellone and Pirellina? The former is a floor lamp carrying an upper halogen source that ensures a superb combination of diffused and indirect light; the latter is a bedside lamp that also comes in a larger dressing table version.

Gio Ponti was born in Milan in 1891. Right from the start, this eclectic character was active in the fields of architecture, painting, graphics and set design. He graduated from Milan Polytechnic in 1920 and was art director for Richard-Ginori from 1923 till 1930. In 1926, with editor Gianni Mazzocchi, he founded the magazine Domus, staying on as editor until his death in 1979. He was invited to take over the art direction of Luigi Fontana in 1931 and in 1932 he founded FontanaArte together with Pietro Chiesa.

He was one of the promoters of the Compasso d'Oro Award and a founder member of the ADI (Italian association for industrial design), as well as curating programmes for the Milan Triennale on many occasions and teaching at Milan Polytechnic.

Ponti designed numerous famous public and private buildings, including the houses in Via De Togni, the tower-house in Corso Venezia, offices for RAI and Ferrania, the Littoria tower in Parco Sempione, the Pirelli skyscraper in Milan, Taranto Cathedral, Villa Planchart in Caracas, and the Denver Museum of Modern Art.

In the field of design he created timeless furniture, lighting and objects for FontanaArte, as well as the Superleggera chair and furniture for Cassina, Christofle cutlery and Richard Ginori china. Some of his FontanaArte pieces still in production include the 0024, Bilia, Pirellina and Pirellone lamps, and the Tavolino 1932 table.


In 1881, Luigi Fontana starts his business in Milan, manufacturing float glass for the construction industry. As the century draws to a close, the company is producing refined bespoke and one-off glass furnishing accessories.

In 1931 the architect, designer and founding editor of Domus magazine, Gio Ponti is invited to take over the company’s art direction. Several of the pieces he designs for FontanaArte are still in production, including the 0024 Suspension, Bilia, Pirellina, and Pirellone lamps, and the Tavolino 1932 coffee table.

In the mid-thirties, Gio Ponti decides it’s time to give a boost to Luigi Fontana’s line of prestigious furnishing accessories and invites Pietro Chiesa to join him in the art direction.

Chiesa is a distinguished master glazier who enlists the craftsmen from his own workshop to join him.
It is a short leap to the launch of FontanaArte, a new division with a mission to develop products with a more artisanal feel, ranging from stained glass to limited series of furnishing and lighting accessories.

As the years roll by, Pietro Chiesa plays a key role in the company as his creative verve offers ample proof that he is a versatile master of vast cultural and technical expertise. He designs over a thousand different pieces, some of which make design history and which remain in production today, including the 1932 curved-glass Fontana table, the Cartoccio vase (1932), and the Luminator floor lamp (1933).

In the mid-Fifties French master glazier and decorator Max Ingrand, renowned for his stunning stained-glass church windows, is invited to the art direction team. He takes the company towards more intensely industrial production but always keeping the craftsmen in his sights.

In the seventies, Architect Gae Aulenti, who had already worked with the company in the past, becomes another leading light in the corporate renewal process.

Her first move was to makeover the collection, personally designing lamps and furnishing accessories that are still in the catalogue. At the same time she recruited a team of young contributors, validating the corporate mission to scout talent and acknowledging the importance of various strategic communication levers.

FontanaArte’s legendary success is forever linked to Ponti, Chiesa, Ingrand and Aulenti, but also to its reliance on prestigious partnerships, initiating in winning alliances with internationally renowned architects or emerging young talents who all have contributed to what is a phantasmagorical collection in many ways: lighting with personality inspired by established styling.

Floor lamp

Nickel-plated cast brass frame, diffuser in curved pressed glass, dual light emission for soft and indirect lighting


Width 34cm, depth 17cm, height 184cm
Withe double dimmer
Black cord
10 × 3.5W G9 LED + 1 × 230W R7s/115 (eco saver halogen)
Note: this product is FRAGILE, please make adequate arrangements for the reception

Made in Italy


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4-5 weeks
Standard Shipping 190,00
"White Glove" Delivery 290,00


VAT incl. 2.299,00


1.900,00 VAT excl.
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