Proposed by Molteni&C, the re-edition of the Round armchair (D.154.5), designed by Gio Ponti in 1954, is an expression of the creativity and design thought of the great Milanese master

More than 60 years after the original idea, the iconic armchair Round (D.154.5) was reborn thanks to the Heritage Collection reissue project by Molteni&C, in collaboration with the Gio Ponti Archives. As with all the projects in the collection, the careful study of drawings, photos and period materials has made it possible to faithfully reproduce the armchair in every detail, bringing a forgotten master-piece back to life. Designed in 1954, full production began in 1956-1957 and it was officially presented at the 11th Milan Triennale in 1957 (Feal Pavilion), along with other innovative Ponti furnishings, in a limited number of examples which are now highly sought after by collectors. Gio Ponti was very fond of this chair and has often used it to furnish his architectural projects, such as Italian Cultural Institut Stockholm (1957); the Parco dei Principi Hotel in Sorrento (1960); the villas Planchart (1955) and Arreaza/Diamantina(1956), the latter now demolished, both in Caracas; the Alitalia offices in Manhattan(1958); the Alitalia passenger terminal (1960), in the Centrale station area in Milan, where a modified version was used, with the curved plywood replacing by a chromed metal tube, for long lines of waiting seats and two or three seater sofas designed ad hoc. Proposed with Vipla upholstery, strictly two-tone, white and blue or white and yellow, it is also produced in fabric, for the Villa Planchart study, and for the Parco dei Principi Hotel in Sorrento, in dark blue.

At a glance

What is it?
Round D.154.5 is also referred to as ‘Otto Pezzi’ (Eight Pieces) in the Ponti/Fornaroli/Rosselli study. In fact, there are eight pieces that make up the chair: backrest, seat, two curved plywood elements and four legs, which screw into the seat to hold the whole thing together. A totally new product, designed for the industry, where we talk about assembly, ease of production, but also packaging, with the solution of minimizing overall dimensions and transport.
What its design concept?
The project name, Round D.154.5, comes from the rounded shape of the seat and backrests, also referred to as the ‘soap bar’. It has very modern even ‘spatial’ forms, never thought before. Characterized by avantgarde materials and technologies, such as the Vipla (a plastic material that resembles leather) for the upholstery, curved plywood to join the backrest and seat, and metal feet with non-slip tips that are easy to assemble.
How and where is it manufactured?
Featuring a wooden structure of multi-layered ash and black chrome or brushed brass feet, the Round D.154.5 chair can be covered with all textiles and leathers of the Molteni&C collection.
What makes it special?
Designed by Ponti in 1954, this chair seems to contain in itself, anticipating them, all the energy, enthusiasm and expectations that will mark the lifestyle of the following decade, that of the miniskirts of Mary Quant, the Beatles, John Kennedy, the race to the space between the USA and the USSR. Behind this project is the idea that an armchair can also be an independent form, an autonomous expression, like a sculpture, free from the aesthetic and formal liturgies on which the ‘interiors’ had been set up in previous years.