Fondazione Prada has recently created its new Headquarters in Largo Isarco (inaugurated in the spring of 2015), in an area of Milan that was once given over to industrial production.
The project for the recovery of the site to create a new home for Fondazione Prada was entrusted in 2008 to the Dutch architects Rem Koolhaas and Chris van Duijn, of the OMA firm. The distillery’s historic structures were recovered and repurposed to house the Fondazione’s many activities, and three new constructions lend an innovative character to the citadel. The Tower, facing the city center, with its irregular shapes soars over the lower buildings; the Haunted House, a 4-storey building clad in gold leaf; and the Podium, a vast central space on two storeys.
Fondazione Prada was established by Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli in 1993 as an institute to promote reflection about the contemporary in art and culture. Behind the Fondazione is a name in fashion known worldwide, with 102 years of activity.
The new Largo Isarco venue in Milan, which has 19 thousand square meters of which 11 thousand are available for shows, will hold the Fondazione’s permanent collection, and there are also spaces for shows and temporary events, as well as for didactic and recreational activities. Various activities have been planned for the inauguration: installations by Robert Gober and Thomas Demand, a film project by Roman Polanski and two exhibitions of ancient art curated by Salvatore Settis and mounted in parallel in the Milan and Venice locations.
The foyer of the Cinema space hosts a ceramic work by Lucio Fontana, Battaglia (1948): originally made for the Cinema Arlecchino in Milan it evokes the artistic and cultural rebirth of the years of post-war modernization in Italy.
From the furbishing to the ceiling the Bar Luce, located in the entrance of the premises, evokes the atmosphere of the historic Milanese bars of the fifties and sixties, filtered through the eyes of contemporary Italian cinema. Its vaulted ceiling reproduces the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in miniature. According to the designer of this one-of-a-kind bar, the American director Wes Anderson, "it would be a great set, but also a beautiful place in which to write a movie".
Amongst the special projects that the foundazione has organised for the city of Milan, of particular interest are Dan Flavin's light installation for the church of Santa Maria Annunciata in Chiesa Rossa (1997) and the legendary video-musical project by Laurie Anderson entitled “Dal Vivo”, with the collaboration of the San Vittore Prison (1998).