Prada Towers Over the Milan Art Scene
There is a metamorphoses in Milan’s skyline with the Prada Foundation’s new Tower — designed by Rem Koolhaas with Chris van Duijn and Federico Pompignoli from the OMA firm — featuring the permanent exhibition Atlas, curated by Miuccia Prada and Germano Celant.
Torre was unveiled during Milan’s iconic furniture and design trade show Salone del Mobile. This futuristic high-rise construction is one of the three new buildings that distinguish the architectural complex, the result of the transformation of a distillery dating back to the 1910s. The 60-meter-tall white concrete building thus becomes one of the most significant outdoor elements of the foundation, entering the urban landscape of Milan and, at the same time, revealing an unprecedented view of the city through its large windows.
The building consists of an alternation of trapezoidal and rectangular volumes that overlook the urban area of Milan. The Tower includes nine floors: six hold exhibition halls for a total area of more than 2,000 m2, while the other 3 house a restaurant, lavatories and a breathtaking terrace. The property also has a 160 m2 rooftop terrace with a rooftop bar.
The complex geometric structure, which differentiates the external appearance of the Tower according to the perspective of observation, embodies the architectural vision of the entire foundation, characterized by a variety of oppositions and fragments designed to never form a single and defined image. As Rem Koolhaas explained “by introducing numerous spatial variables, the complexity of the architectural project contributes to the development of an open and constantly evolving cultural programming.”
The exhibition spaces are designed to accommodate works and large installations of the Prada Collection which include mostly works of the 20th and 21st centuries of Italian and international artists. The Atlas exhibit features the œuvres of masters such as Carla Accardi, Jeff Koons, Walter De Maria, Mona Hatoum, Edward Kienholz & Nancy Reddin Kienholz, Michael Heizer, Pino Pascali, William N. Copley, Damien Hirst, John Baldessari, Carsten Höller.
Those who are fond of vintage cars will enjoy Walter De Maria’s Bel Air Trilogy where stainless steel rods perforate three 1955 Chevrolets. Pino Pascali’s fluffy installations will caress the hearts of cuddly souls, whereas Damien Hirst’s eerie installations — with flies and a ginormous canvas covered with dead insects — will give goosebumps to those suffering of entomophobia. Visitors who possess a child-spirit will be captivated by the Carrollesque mushroom installation by Carsten Höller and Jeff Koon’s gigantic colorful tulips.
The capital of Lombardy is known for hiding its beauty, but once visitors carefully explore every nook and cranny, they realize how splendid Milan is, both in historicity and in avantgarde art. Rem Koolhaas’s Tower contributes to nurturing the city’s creativity, as well as aggrandizing the Prada Foundation’s mission to expand its range of artists and projects.