Designed by Rem Koolhaas and his team at OMA, the new tower in white concrete offers an architectural experience of transitions and variations within its 60 meters high structure. Photos by Danica O. Kus
Divided into nine floors, each one developing some kind of special vista into the surrounding landscape, the building has a clear purpose to provide a smooth variety of themes within its gallery spaces occupying all together six floors.
Starting from an average of 2,7 meters on the ground floor, the room height increases towards the top with a spectacular 8 meters on the top floor gallery. The play with light is allowed by a range of alternating wide openings on the façade and intensified with boldly reflecting interior surfaces. The levels can also be reached on the panoramic lift, integrated to the southern side of the building. As Koolhaas explains these subtle variations bring diversity to the simple volume in order to break the monotony of the generic gallery context.
On six levels, the gallery spaces are hosting a selection of works from the Prada collection, curated by Germano Celant. Key works from the 1960s and 1970s, by artists including Carla Accardi, Pino Pascali and William N. Copley, together with more recent works by Goshka Macuga, Jeff Koons, Mona Hatoum, Damien Hirst and Carsten Höller, have been chosen to form a dialogue from the core of the vast Prada collection. Titled ’Atlas’ the exhibition could be seen as mapping of ideas and aesthetic influences for Prada.
On the sixth floor restaurant ’Torre’ has been furnished with original pieces from the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York, designed by Philip Jonson in 1958. Also Carsten Höller’s pieces designed for the The Double Club installation have found a new home here. You will witness more art from the collection in the restaurant including sculptures by Lucio Fontana, paintings by William N. Copley, and a special display of artists’ plates created by contemporary artists including Thomas Demand, Mariko Mori and Tobias Rehberger.
The building is topped with terrace, where the black and white floor has been designed as an optical play with the surrounding cityscape and the panoramic view of Milan. Torre marks the completion of the Fondazione Prada’s great undertaking of transforming an old distillery into a contemporary cultural campus. While complementing the old structures, this last addition brings together historical forms and contemporary layers, as part of a long collaboration between Prada and Rem Koolhaas, showing the subtle art of preservation.