The Fondazione Prada has recently opened its doors in Milan. The location chosen to display the large collection of works of art is an old distillery dated 1910 in the outskirts of the city. The renovation of the existing buildings has been committed to the architecture firm OMA lead by the worldwide know architect Rem Koolhaas. The aim of the project was nor a restyling of existing building neither a new architecture project. Regarding the vision of this new space Rem Koolhaas says “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.
New, old, horizontal, vertical, wide, narrow, white, black, open, enclosed–all these contrasts establish the range of oppositions that define the new Fondazione. By introducing so many spatial variables, the complexity of the architecture will promote an unstable, open programming, where art and architecture will benefit from each other’s challenges” (Rem Koolhaas, Official website of Fondazione Prada).
A visit to the museum demonstrates for sure how this new concept has been put into practice. Each space hosts an art exhibit which seems to be perfectly fitting in that space. Take for instance the cisterna building. The cisterna(cistern, tank) is composed by three separate spaces which used to be the place where distillates where produced and stocked. In each one of these spaces there is a work of art which recalls the space and its main feature: a geometrical shape. Three rooms for three artworks: Case II (1968) by Eva Hesse, Lost Love (2000) by Damien Hirst and 1 metro cubo di terra (1967) by Pino Pascali.
This is just one of the experiences offered by the Fondazione Prada. The list of temporary exhibits also includes “Serial Classic” which consists of a series of classical sculptures. The 70 artworks try to explain to the audience how the Roman art was influenced by the Greek one thanks to the imitation of the masterpieces of the Greek modeling tradition.
Before your visit is over do not forget to stop at the Bar Luce for a drink or a panino. The Bar Luce is the food outlet of the Fondazione and has been designed by movie director Wes Anderson. Entering the bar means going back in time. Everything has stopped in the mid 50s. The furniture, the menus and the pinball machines gives you the idea of an Italian bar during the economic boom. If sight, hearing and touch are continuously stimulated during the visit at the Fondazione, the bar is the place where your sense of smell and taste will be exalted.