Fondazione Prada has unveiled a new permanent venue in Milan, proving that there’s much more to the fashion giant than fancy handbags. Rem Koolhaas, from architectural firm OMA, has been in control of the project that has seen seven existing buildings in Largo Isarco combined with three new structures. The scheme has been one of conversion and conservation; preserving the character of the distillery, dating from the 1910s, was a key priority for the project team. Keeping things overly authentic, master of kitsch Wes Anderson has even contributed to the project — in the form of the film director’s Bar Luce; a space informed by traditional Milanese cafés. It is unknown as to likelihood of Bill Murray hosting karaoke evenings.
Fondazione Prada has been around since 1993, and the organisation has hosted numerous art exhibitions in addition to cinema, architecture, and even philosophy projects. The diverse range of the foundation’s interests was a driving force behind the ambitious new venue, and the choice of spaces allows even more scope for experimentation in their future programming. Serial Classic is the inaugural event to run at the Milan base. Designed by OMA, the display analyses the themes of seriality and copy in classical art — specifically the popularity of copying in Roman late Republic-era and Imperial era art and how it relates to earlier Greek art. The exhibition is taking place from 9 May to 24 August. A second exhibition, An Introduction, looks at Miucci Prada’s passion for collecting; closing date for that is January next year.