Fondazione Prada’s Unfinished Tower Is Completed

Friday, March 16, 2018 | By | Add a Comment


Fondazione Prada’s Unfinished Tower Is Completed

The nine-story tower designed by Rem Koolhaas adds a dizzying variety of exhibition spaces and panoramic views of post-industrial Milan.

The final, towering touch to the Fondazione Prada in Milan is ready to be unveiled in April, three years after the billionaire fashion designer and collector Miuccia Prada opened the prestigious private museum in Milan.

When the Fondazione Prada launched in May 2015, the nine-story, 197-foot Torre was still under construction.  Now completed, the landmark building in the former gin distillery on the edge of Milan is set to officially open on April 20.

Koolhaas first came to public and critical attention with OMA (The Office for Metropolitan Architecture), the office he founded in 1975 together with architects Elia Zenghelis, Zoe Zenghelis and (Koolhaas’s wife) Madelon Vriesendorp in London.  They were later joined by one of Koolhaas’s students, Zaha Hadid – who would soon go on to achieve success in her own right.  Their works are known to have trademark differences from the dominant postmodern classicism designs of the late 1970s.

Its completion marks the long-awaited final stage of the more than 19,000 square metre complex designed by Rem Koolhaas with Chris van Duijn and Federico Pompignoli of OMA.  Rotterdam-based OMA is responsible for flagship Prada stores around the world.

Six of the floors in the wedge-shaped Torre are exhibition spaces.  The other levels contain visitor facilities and a restaurant, and the building is topped off with a bar on the roof that offers a panoramic view of Milan.  Some floors have a rectangular floor plan, while others have a trapezoidal one.

“By introducing so many spatial variables, the complexity of the architecture will promote an unstable, open programming,” Koolhaus said in a statement.  “The interaction between the spaces and specific events or works of art offer an endless variety of conditions,” he added.

The Prada Collection includes many important works by 20th and 21st century Italian and international artists. Since launching the space in Milan, the foundation has presented shows of work by the S artist H. C. Westermann, the Austrian collective Gelitin, and Pamela Rozenkranz, among others.  Last June it premiered Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s virtual reality installation about Mexican migrants attempting to cross the US border, Carne y Arena (Virtually Present, Physically Invisible).  The award-winning installation was co-produced and financed by Legendary Entertainment and Fondazione Prada.

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