Giovanni Ponti, Villa Arreaza, Caracas, Venezuela, 1955

Giovanni Ponti, Villa Arreaza, Caracas, Venezuela, 1955

Giovanni Ponti, Villa Arreaza, Caracas, Venezuela, 1955

Villa Arreaze, also known as Diamond House, is a private residence of the 20th century. The purpose of Ponti was to build a house in an all-encompassing fashion, from the design of the furniture and the decorative objects to the articles of daily use. He wanted to create a place that looks like having no walls. The spaces are characterised by ceilings with different heights and foldable walls.

A few of the most notable elements are the floors and the ceilings. These have white and blue stripes. The stripes and colours determine the whole character of the building. Ponti also wants to focus on the relation with the landscape: the living area features a large living room that is open to the outside.

This quinta––since demolished––was located on the other side of the valley from El Cerrito, which meant that Ponti had to address a site at the foot of El Ávila.  Opening up to the mountain that rose up behind the house, Ponti overcame the limitations of the vernacular exterior corridor with its downward sloping roof––which would have interrupted the view of the mountainous mass––by choosing to tilt the roof upward, and by inserting a glass opening along its width, at the base of the corridor’s roof segment.  In this way, the mountainous mass made its presence known in the house through the cinematographic effect of “depth of field.”  Ponti described this approach to the roof as “a wing that climbs toward El Ávila.”

As with Villa Planchart, Ponti had the opportunity to demonstrate his skill in industrial design, assuming responsibility for Diamantina’s furniture and other appointments, including the toilets and sinks, lighting, door handles, floor coverings, dishes, and silverware.



Dina Broadhurst at

Rafael Pereira Escalona at

La Pietra, U. (Ed.). (2009). Gio Ponti. Rizzoli.

Ponti, G. (1996). Gio Ponti. U. La Pietra (Ed.). Rizzoli.