Photo: Bas Princen. Courtesy Fondazione Prada

The new Milan venue of Fondazione Prada, conceived by architecture firm OMA—led by Rem Koolhaas—expands the repertoire of spatial typologies in which art can be exhibited and shared with the public. Characterized by an articulated architectural configuration which combines seven existing buildings with three new structures (Podium, Cinema and Torre), the new venue is the result of the transformation of a distillery dating back to the 1910’s.

In the project conceived by OMA, two conditions coexist: preservation and the creation of a new architecture which, although separate, confront each other in a state of permanent interaction.
Located in Largo Isarco, in the south of Milan, the compound develops on an overall surface of 19.000 m2/205,000 ft2.
Torre (tower), currently undergoing construction work, will be open to the public at a later stage.

As stated by Rem Koolhaas: “The Fondazione is not a preservation project and not a new architecture. Two conditions that are usually kept separate here confront each other in a state of permanent interaction–offering an ensemble of fragments that will not congeal into a single image, or allow any part to dominate the others.
New, old, horizontal, vertical, wide, narrow, white, black, open, enclosed – all these contrasts establish the range of oppositions that define the new Fondazione. By introducing so many spatial variables, the complexity of the architecture will promote an unstable, open programming, where art and architecture will benefit from each other’s challenges”.


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