Architect Gio Ponti founded FontanaArte in 1932 as an artistic division of the Luigi Fontana Company. Historically, the company has been a leader in advanced glass manufacturing and design. The company's works were first distinguished by its realization of artistic stained-glass windows, many of which are today still functional elements and ornamental features of churches and cathedrals, among them the Duomo of Milan and the Cathedral of Brasilia. By using glass, Ponti realized what an enormous potential this material could offer in the in the making of furnishing complements for interiors, and he started to design and produce furniture, lamps and objects with glass as the main distinguishing feature. Soon a new collection was ready to be marketed, and his new design concept was being used as a complement to the interior decoration of many houses that he personally designed. Over the years, FontanaArte has had many contributors to its designs, including Pietro Chiesa, Gae Aulenti, Pierluigi Cerri, Piero Castiglioni, Vico Magistretti, Vittorio Gregotti, Ettore Sottsass, Umberto Riva, Alvaro Siza and Renzo Piano.
Norman Foster is one of the most prolific architects of his generation. Soon after Mr. Foster birth, his family moved to Manchester, which he dubbed as "one of the workshops of the world" and "the embodiment of a great city". During his school years, Mr. Foster was fascinated with engineering and the process of designing, which caused him to pursue a career in industrial design. Specific interests included aircraft - a hobby he maintains today; and trains, generated by viewing passing trains on the railway outside his terraced home during his childhood.
In 1994 Mr. Foster received the AIA Gold Medal. In 1999, he was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, often referred to as the Nobel Prize of architecture. In 2009, Foster received the Prince of Asturias Award in the Arts category.View other products by Norman Foster