Architect Gio Ponti founded FontanaArte in 1932 as an artistic division in the company Luigi Fontana, historically, the company leader in advanced glass manufacturing and design.
The design company's works were first distinguished by its realization of artistic stained-glass windows, many of which are today still functional elements and ornamental in churches and cathedrals, amongst them the Duomo of Milan and the cathedral of Brasilia. By using glass, architect Ponti realized what an enormous potential this material could offer in the making of furnishing complements for interiors. Urged by this intuition he started to design and produce furniture, lamps and objects with glass and the main distinguishing feature, in a short time a new collection was ready to be marketed, and his new concept was being used as a complement to the interior decoration of many houses that he personally designed.
Fontana Arte's fame, linked to glass and design, continues to grow thanks to the interpretations of Gio Ponti and the insightful collaboration of Pietro Chiesa.
The company's growth in those years was remarkable, up until an important international group buys FontanaArte by the means of the Luigi Fontana's acquisition.
The very rigid industrial culture of the group, so much tied up to the idea of producing "big numbers" had the business managers adopt the wrong strategic choices, damaging the marriage between glass and design.
More Fontana Arte Info