Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Fondazione Prada

fondazione prada 3
Some of the old distillery buildings that have been repurposed at Fondazione Prada ©Darren Bradley
The Fondazione Prada just opened a new venue in Milan in May, timed with the arrival of the International Exposition that the city is hosting this year. It was designed by OMA / Rem Koolhaas. If you are familiar with OMA's work, you may be quite surprised by the results... 

Fondazione Prada
Photo ©Darren Bradley


fondationprada1
Photo ©Darren Bradley

Fondazione Prada
Old and new buildings juxtaposed. Photo ©Darren Bradley
The new facility opened in the Largo Isarco district of Milan, which is quite literally on the wrong side of the tracks from the nice parts of the city. In fact, it's a neighborhood of old warehouses and train yards, that is now in the process of being gentrified and redeveloped.  A large pharmaceutical company just opened a slick new corporate building next door, in fact. But back to the Fondazione... 


Fondazione Prada
If you visit carrying anything larger than a wallet, you will be checking your bag. The facility has the most strict policy on bag checking that I have ever seen - even small handbags. Someone even told me that my camera was "too big". Photo ©Darren Bradley
Fondazione Prada
Fondazione Prada. Photo ©Darren Bradley

The site of the Fondazione Prada's new location was previously a distillery, built around 1910. As part of the design, OMA preserved or transformed many of the existing buildings, making minor modifications. 


Fondazione Prada
Fondazione Prada. Photo ©Darren Bradley

They added several new structures to the site, as well, including a tower that was not yet complete when I toured the place in early July. 


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Fondazione Prada. Photo ©Darren Bradley

Koolhaas explained that "The Fondazione is not a preservation project, and is not 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."


Fondazione Prada
Mirrored walls reinforce the blending of old and new. Photo ©Darren Bradley

"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." 



Fondazione Prada
Gallery space in a reclaimed warehouse. Photo ©Darren Bradley

The Fondazione includes large museum facilities for displaying contemporary art, and some of it was on display when I visited. The most striking exhibit to my eye was in the section called the Podium - on of the three newly-designed OMA buildings on the campus. 


Fondazione Prada
The Podium. Photo ©Darren Bradley

The exhibit was called "Serial Classic", and demonstrated how Greek and Roman sculptors copied each other and produced their own work in a serial fashion, rather than as one-of-a-kind pieces. 


Fondazione Prada
Serial Classic exhibit at the Fondazione Prada. Photo ©Darren Bradley


Fondazione Prada
Serial Classic exhibit at the Fondazione Prada. Photo ©Darren Bradley

Fondazione Prada
Serial Classic. Fondazione Prada. Photo ©Darren Bradley


Fondazione Prada
Serial Classic at the Fondazione Prada. Photo ©Darren Bradley

There is also a cinema and a educational facility as part of the campus. But my favorite part was the Bar Luce, where film director Wes Anderson has recreated a typical old Milan cafĂ© in the spirit of one of his film sets. 
Bar Luce
Bar Luce at the Fondazione Prada, by Wes Anderson. Photo ©Darren Bradley
Bar Luce, designed by Wes Anderson in Milan.
Bar Luce at the Fondazione Prada, by Wes Anderson. Photo ©Darren Bradley

It's brilliant, and there's even a "Steve Zissou: A Life Aquatic" pinball machine. The food and cocktails were also quite good, and far better than you'd expect for a museum restaurant. 

Zissou pinball machine at Bar Luce, by Wes Anderson. #thelifeaquatic #milan
Zissou pinball machine at the Bar Luce by Wes Anderson. Photo ©Darren Bradley

Fondazione Prada
Photo ©Darren Bradley

2 comments:

Michael S. said...

Gorgeous pics as always. What camera did you shoot these with? Also the pics in your blog posts all link to Flickr but give a 404 error when clicked. Perhaps you don't see that with your admin access.

Darren Bradley said...

Thanks, Michael. These were all shot hand-held with a Canon 5DS and a 17mm TS lens, with the exception of the photos of the Bar Luce, which I took with my iPhone 5C. As for the error you're getting, you're right that I don't see it. That's interesting. I suspect it may be because a lot of the photos are set to private on Flickr. I'll look into it. Thanks! Darren