Milan: How does an old distillery become a cultural crossroads?

An important event from Milan’s design week was the opening of the La Torre (Tower) Fondazione Prada – a progressive exhibition space on the grounds of an old distillery.

 Fondazione Prada, Milano. Foto: Bas Princen. Courtesy Fondazione Prada

Fondazione Prada, Milano. Foto: Bas Princen. Courtesy Fondazione Prada

Fondazione Prada (Prada Foundation) has from its establishment in the year 1993 supported creativity in the fields of fine arts, literature, films, music, philosophy, and science. The foundation acquired the space in the south of Milan, where it can showcase and open up its events to the public.

The industrial complex, which spans over almost two hectares, is made up of seven original buildings and three new ones – Podium, Cinema, and Torre, which was opened during April’s design event. The Dutch architectural firm OMA was responsible for the construction, which is coming to an end. They have been working with the brand Prada since the 1990s. OMA designed the interiors of some of Prada’s stores, pop-ups, and even helped with the conception of fashion shows.

Fondazione Prada
Fondazione Prada

The white concrete tower is 60 meters tall. Each of the nine floors has a different ceiling height – from the first floor’s 2.7 meters to the top floor's eight meters. Six of the floors have exhibition spaces, three of them restaurants, and on the terrace with a bar, you can enjoy a panoramic view of Milan.

Fondazione Prada_Torre_3.jpg
Fondazione Prada
Fondazione Prada

In addition to the current exhibitions in the Torre, a collection of art called Atlas from the Prada foundation is also on display. The collection came together over the course of 1960–2016 under the curatorial leadership of Germano Celant.

 Installation  Tears for Everybody's Looking at You  by Damien Hirst

Installation Tears for Everybody's Looking at You by Damien Hirst

 Installation  Upside Down Mushroom Room  by Carsten Höller

Installation Upside Down Mushroom Room by Carsten Höller

The Torre has provided Milan with another tourist destination, which has not only a marvelous view of the second largest city in Italy but also shows how to showcase art in the 21st century. You can find out more at http://www.fondazioneprada.org/

 The Torre Restaurant on the sixth floor

The Torre Restaurant on the sixth floor

 The pink onyx-plated elevator

The pink onyx-plated elevator

Our little Milan adventure ends with this post, but you can find the previous ones here and here. Next year’s Salone del Mobile will take place on April 8–14, 2019, so don’t forget to book your tickets!


text: Hana Janišová | translation: Mila Virk | photo: Adéla Kudrnová & Fondazione Prada's archive