Foto Bas Princen. Courtesy Fondazione Prada.

The 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 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 will open to the public on 20 April 2018.

The 60-meters high white concrete building will become a recognizable landmark for the Fondazione, revealing itself within Milan’s urban skyline while simultaneously framing an unprecedented view of the city through its large windows.
Torre develops on nine levels, six of which are exhibition spaces, for a total surface of approximately 2.000 m2. The remaining three levels host a restaurant and other visitors’ facilities. The structure is completed by a 160 m2 panoramic terrace hosting a rooftop bar. The exhibition spaces have been conceived to display works and large installations from the Prada Collection.
The external façades are characterized by an alternation of concrete and glass surfaces, which allows different exposure from all points of view.
The irregular geometry of Torre allows its exterior appearance to vary according to different observation points, and perfectly embodies the architectural vision for the entire Fondazione.

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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