On May 9, the new Milan venue of the Fondazione Prada designed by OMA opens to the public. The project, led by Rem Koolhaas, Chris van Duijn and Federico Pompignoli, is a milestone in OMA’s long-term collaboration with Prada, delivering a 19,000 m2 campus dedicated to art. Commissioned by Fondazione Prada, the project embraces a coexistence of new architecture with the regeneration of an early 20th-century gin distillery that includes warehouses, laboratories and brewing silos, as well as new buildings surrounding a large courtyard.
“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.” Koolhaas says.
Located in Largo Isarco, south of the city center, the complex aims to expand the repertoire of spatial typologies in which art can be exhibited and shared with the public. The project consists of seven existing buildings, and three new structures: Museum, a space for temporary exhibitions; Cinema, a multimedia auditorium; and Torre, a ten-story permanent exhibition space for displaying the foundation’s collection and activities. Torre, currently undergoing construction work, will be open to the public at a later date.
To coincide with the opening of the new venue, OMA has designed two exhibitions for Fondazione Prada: Serial Classic (Milan, May 9–August 24) and Portable Classic (Venice, May 9–September 13). Curated by Salvatore Settis, Serial Classic will occupy the Podium while Portable Classic will be held at the Fondazione Prada’s Venice location, Ca’ Corner. Together, the exhibitions feature Greek and Roman statuary at all scales and examine issues of reproduction and display, aiming to rethink classical notions of the socle and, since the Renaissance and later, the vitrine.
all images © BAS PRINCEN / courtesy of FONDAZIONE PRADA