OMA’s Fondazione Prada in Milan
Fondazione Prada, the art and culture offshoot of fashion powerhouse Prada, will open its new home in Milan on May 9. Designed by OMA and led by Rem Koolhass, Chris van Duijn and Federico Pompignoli, the foundation’s Milan base is located on the former site of a gin distillery and combines fresh architectural elements with reclaimed warehouses, brewing silos and laboratories.
“The Fondazione is not a preservation project and not a new architecture,” Koolhass has said. “Two conditions that are usually kept separate here confront each other in a state of permanent interaction.”
Located south of Milan’s city center, in Largo Isarco, the new complex consists of ten buildings — seven reclaimed, three new — that surround a courtyard. The complex includes thousands of square feet of gallery space, a multimedia auditorium, a courtyard and Bar Luce, a café designed by director Wes Anderson.
Fondazione Prada is celebrating the opening of its Milan campus with two exhibits. “Serial Classic” explores the conflicting relationship between originality and imitation in Roman culture. “Portable Classic” continues the theme by examining the origins of miniature reproductions of classic sculptures.
For more than two decades, Fondazione Prada has sought to explore the role of arts and culture in overall society. “Culture should help us with our everyday lives, and understand how we, and the world, are changing,” it says.