The Leggera Chair designed by Gio Ponti for Cassina is an icon of design, its lines clean-cut refined, and versatile. It adapts effortlessly to a variety of requirements and settings. The Leggera is available with armrests or without.
A wood chair, par excellence, the Leggera marks one of the key points of the relationship, both in terms of design and production, which started in the 1950s between Gio Ponti, Cesare Cassina, and the Cassina company’s artisans. The experience and the capabilities of the craft were put to the test in addressing the challenge of lightening the chair frame – the ultimate outcome being the inimitable slimline Superleggera chair – concentrating on its essential lines while respecting its resistance and stability. The many combinations and contrasts in color between the ashwood frame and the seat-cover keep the Leggera constantly up-to-date, as well as making it a perfect partner for any setting.
The Milanese polymath Gio Ponti believed that the quickest path to beauty was simplicity. This, in itself, was a radical idea, but the hundred buildings in 13 countries Ponti built in his 87 years proved him right. His style promoted comfort and emphasized a lightness of spirit and material. Never one to rest on his laurels, Ponti also founded and directed the legendary Domus magazine, which changed the course of 20th Century design by introducing a generation of Italian designers to the work and ideas of Le Corbusier, Mies Van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer, and Charles and Ray Eames.
But this impact of his own work remains profound. His most famous skyscraper, the Pirelli Tower, took the au courant concrete-and-curtain wall block and faceted its sides, almost forming a smile. His residences often eschewed walls of glass for floating facades that illuminated like movie screens. Most of all, his industrial design embodied an unfussy faith in sensuality: his 1948 La Pavoni espresso machine curves in all the right places, as do his mid-century perfume bottles of Murano glass made in collaboration with Piero Fornasetti. Most successful of all remains is Superleggera Chair for Cassina, with a frame that bends backwards to soothe the sitter and a cane seat so lightweight a child could lift it, and did, in its joyful ad campaign.