The impressive Fondazione Prada complex in the Porta Romana district stands out amongst its immediate surroundings. The brainchild of Miuccia Prada, created in 1993, aims to promote culture and contemporary art. In 2015 it inaugurated its museum, designed in a former distillery, by the Dutch architectural studio OMA, under the creative direction of Rem Koolhaas.
Three new buildings give this citadel of art its innovative character. La Torre, a striking asymmetrical glass and exposed white concrete construction, with nine floors that house the permanent collection of contemporary art, towers above the lower structures : the Haunted House, a four-storey building with a gilded exterior, a favourite photo opportunity for Milanese and tourists alike, and the Podium, a vast central two-storey space.
Absolutely not to be missed is Bar Luce, conceived by the famous director Wes Anderson, now one of the most instagrammed places in Milano.
The entire district is under transformation: the Olympic Village planned for the 2026 Milano - Cortina Winter Olympics will be constructed directly in front of the Fondazione Prada tower, and the Bocconi University maintains an increasingly future-oriented presence in this area.
Indeed, the university’s New Campus is located here, designed by two celebrities of Japanese architecture: Kazujo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, from the SANAA studio.
The transparent façades favour the interior-exterior connexion, and play on curved lines that create buildings which take shape within the open-air courtyards in order to optimize and reduce the use of artificial lighting. Here too sustainability has been a leading factor in the design, ensuring energy self-sufficiency.
Another important renovation taking place in the Porta Romana area is the construction of the new piazza dedicated to Adriano Olivetti as part of the Symbiosis project, built in the Scalo Romana area, in the vicinity of the Prada Foundation. The 13,000 sq mt piazza is enhanced by LED-lit paths, shared electric transport, ponds and trees. Technology and eco-sustainability are the key points of the project. Wi-fi connections and recharging stations for smartphones and tablets will be accessible, along with benches equipped with multimedia connections.
There are other important innovations planned for the future of the Porta Romana district. The construction of the new A2A headquarters in Milano will be completed in 2025: the Torre Faro will be designed by architects Antonio Citterio and Patricia Viel.
The imposing 144-metre-high tubular skyscraper will have an original feature, a “split” at a height of about 60 meters, where a 3-floor sky garden will have one open side. It will also boast a top-floor viewing platform, accessible to the public for a breath-taking view of the city’s new district in transformation.