It takes a native son to build something as iconic as the Pirelli Tower, Gio Ponti’s 1960 masterpiece that soars over Milan. In 1928, the prolific architect and designer founded Domus, the influential design magazine to which he would contribute for the rest of his life. Along with building projects like the elegant Villa Planchart in Caracas, Ponti designed a number of now-iconic products, including the lightweight Superleggera chair and the curvy La Pavoni coffee machine of 1948. He was an enthusiastic leader of the post-war reconstruction, and a major influence on younger designers including Alessandro Mendini and Ettore Sottsass. In 2011, his prolific and wide-ranging career was the subject of the exhibition “Expressions of Gio Ponti” at the Triennale Museum in Milan. "Love architecture, be it ancient or modern,” Ponti said. “Love it for its fantastic, adventurous and solemn creations; for its inventions; for the abstract, allusive and figurative forms that enchant our spirit and enrapture our thoughts. Love architecture, the stage and support of our lives."