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Il Pontaio

Typology: Furniture Duo of Bookshelf and Chair
Manufacturers: Francesco and Simone Carullo
Photos: Diego Costantini
Site: Salone del Mobile, Milan, Italy 

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Il Pontaio is a furniture duo consisting of a bookshelf and a chair. The duo was launched at Salone Satellite during the Milan Design Week, 2023.

The design is inspired by the symbolism, aesthetic, structural and cultural power of bridges, to create an icon for the domestic space.

Il Pontaio celebrates the interdependence between aesthetics and engineering, each relying on the other for its existence. This relationship is central to the design and construction of bridges and is reflected in the choice of multi-layered birch plywood as the primary material.


Il Pontaio symbolises unity and connection, celebrating the sense of acceptance and belonging that can be cultivated in a city and within our own living spaces.

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Bridges provide a compelling example of how a design transcends a physical barrier to connect two places and instead conveys a cultural message, creating an iconic landmark that becomes an integral part of people’s lives and identities.


Similarly, Il Pontaio draws inspiration from the symbolic power of bridges and seeks to transcend its functional role as a piece of furniture to become a distinctive element of the home and an emblematic icon of the domestic space.

The chair and bookshelf are inspired by the structure of a tied arch bridge to ensure durability and strength. Each element of the design - the arches, the horizontal ties and the suspension cables - allows for even weight distribution and efficient load transfer to the floor. In addition, these structural elements serve as an essential aspect of the overall aesthetic of the design.

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Il Pontaio embodies the co-dependent relationship between artistry and engineering, form and utility. The two are inextricably linked, one could not exist without the other.

Il Pontaio celebrates the advancement of technology in the development of sustainability by supporting the use of engineered wood as a suitable construction material for bridges. In particular, the furniture is made of PEFC-certified birch plywood.

Engineered wood uses smaller pieces of wood that are glued together, increasing the structural stability and durability of the wood while minimising the waste of natural resources.

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In conclusion, Il Pontaio is an engineered and meticulously crafted design that celebratesthe unifying power of knowledge and culture that enables people to appreciate each other’s differences, recognise our strengths and weaknesses and forge meaningful connections.


Il Pontaio is dedicated to all the people who have used and continue to use their skills, culture and knowledge to tirelessly construct bridges, icons, spaces, products and services that transcend our distances to bring us closer together.

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