FontanaArte was founded in 1932 by architect Gio Ponti as an artistic department of the company Luigi Fontana. Today, the Italian company manufactures lamps and furniture that unify beauty and functionality with modern technologies.
At its foundation, the FontanaArte became popular with glass work and glass design, especially with artistically designed windows, e.g. in churches and cathedrals. While working with glass, Gio Ponti realised the material’s potential for private sectors of interior design. Encouraged by his intuition, Ponti began designing and producing furniture, lamps and other objects. Glass as a material was the unifying element.
Glas and Design
The FontanaArte success with reference to glass and design grew continuously until the company was sold to an internationally active investor group. The consequent pressure and the industrial culture led to a few wrong decisions that damaged the connection between glass and design.
In 1979, Carlo Guglielmi was the only purchaser who worked directly in the business. Great plans were made for the new start of the company; these plans were intended to revitalise the original concept of the business. Great names of architecture and design were to be involved. These included Gae Aulenti, Piero Castiglioni, Franco Raggi and architects such as Gregotti, Sottsass, Riva, Siza and Piano who were to ensure the high quality of the design.
In 1992, FontanaArte opened a showroom in Los Angeles. It complements the existing showrooms in Milan and Rome. Moreover, FontanaArte bought a young and innovative lamp manufacturer when purchasing the Candle company. In 1966, FontanaArte secured itself the prestigious name of Naskaloris for its special office and working space. In the same year, the department Divisione Tecnica, which comprised all technical products from a variety of departments and was to open up to the supplier market, was founded.
Back to the Roots
In 1997, Carlo Guglielmi became the Art Director of FontanaArte. The Oggetti collection was born in 1998. The Schopenhauer collection turned into Arredo e Oggetti and powerfully reoriented toward glass in 2000. In 2004, the FontanaArte Corp. was founded in the USA. Furthermore, a showroom was opened in New York as well as an office in Shanghai. In 2005, a new showroom in Paris followed.
FontanaArte published two catalogues in 2006 to reinforce the own brand. Meanwhile, the cooperation was extended and continued to include famous architects such as Norman Foster and young talents such as Marco Acerbis.
In 2007, FontanaArte celebrated its 75th birthday. In its long history, the company has been on a continues search of beauty, which - according to the philosophy - cannot be separated from technical analysis and functional detail. The FontanaArte team believes that technology, functionality and beauty make up timeless design and together survives trends and changing demands.
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