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Leggera Outdoor Chair

c. 1952/2022

by Gio Ponti
for Cassina

Leggera Outdoor Chair

by Gio Ponti
for  Cassina

or Call to Order

The Leggera moves outside as part of its evolu­tion as a flag­ship product between Gio Ponti and Cesare Cassina in a version crafted with a cutting-edge tech­nique, used here for the first time. Gio Ponti’s wood version chal­lenged the expe­ri­ence and skills of the Cassina joinery to pare the chair’s struc­ture down to its essence. Simi­larly, it was chal­leng­ing for this new steel version to have the same light­ness and purity of arche­type. Cassina borrowed a new tech­nique from a Formula One auto­mo­tive produc­tion process and hydro­form­ing, preserv­ing its distinc­tive aesthet­ics and emblem­atic light­ness. Unlike the tradi­tional casting tech­niques, this intri­cate method expands the thin curved tubular steel from its inte­rior outward to give the struc­ture its shape. In a series of processes, each tube is inserted into a closed mold and then pressed and molded, filling out its form. The indi­vid­ual compo­nents are then care­fully welded together.

Leggera Outdoor comes in three colors: ivory, mud, and green. The seat comes in the mud color mud or woven cord, with the option to add an uphol­stered seat and backrest cushions. 

Thanks to work carried out by Cassina LAB, the Leggera Outdoor chair can be completely disas­sem­bled and all of its compo­nents recy­cled at the end of the produc­t’s life cycle, in a more eco-friendly, respect­ful approach to the environment.

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Gio Ponti

Italy (1891–1979)

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.

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