The book celebrates, by way of a dual narrative, the Italian Cultural Institute in Stockholm, designed and furnished by Gio Ponti to a commission from Carlo Maurilio Lerici. The essays aim to examine the events linked to the commission of the project itself, and to the planning and realization of the building together with its interior design. The volume contains a selection of images taken from the Institute’s historical archive, as well as a new photographic reportage on the architectural and design elements featured in this building.
It is well-known that Ponti took a great interest in Sweden (suffice it to think of all the space that was devoted to Swedish design in the pages of the magazine Domusfrom the early 1950s), yet it is fascinating to learn more and find answers regarding the dynamics that lay behind the making of this structure. Indeed, Gio Ponti managed to surpass the Swedish architect Ture Wennerholm’s original idea, to breathe life into a project where the spaces, albeit organized according to function, succeed one another in a harmonious play of broken lines and different hues. Assisting him in the task were Pier Luigi Nervi and Ferruccio Rossetti.
Gio Ponti gave life to a “classical modern” project in which art and architecture merge, proof that he had overcome the limits that were set by the trends characterizing that day and age. In so doing, he laid the groundwork for a new course in the cultural relations between Italy and Sweden.