OMA has completed the art campus for Fondazione Prada with a 60-meter tower which seeks to develop a “new typology for the exhibition of art.”
Named 'Torre,' the tower has been opened to the press during the Milan Design Week on Thursday.
It is built on a wedge-shaped site and consists of nine levels. Each of those have different spatial parameters, due to different plan dimensions, heights, and orientations. The structure's ceiling height increases floor by floor.
A facade alternates between glass and white concrete, and stares out at a set of train tracks from the site which was once a gin distillery but is now a major player in the city's art scene.
Six of the nine levels serve as exhibition spaces, with an exhibition titled ‘Atlas’ – which includes work from the Prada collection – finding its permanent home within the tower. A restaurant sits on one of the floors, complete with original furnishings from the ‘Four Seasons Restaurant’ in New York, designed by Philip Johnson in 1958. The remaining two floors host other visitor facilities, while a 160m² roof terrace offers a bar and a panoramic view of Italy's fashion capital.
“To extend the typologies offered by the Fondazione, a series of systematic variations is applied: each next floor is taller than the previous one, rectangular plans alternate with wedge shapes, the orientation of the rooms alternates between panoramic city views to the North, or narrower views in opposite directions, East and West," Rem Koolhaas, who co-led the project, said in a statement.
“Together these variations produce a radical diversity within a simple volume – so that the interaction between the spaces and specific events or works of art offer an endless variety of conditions…” Koolhaus continued, describing the tower’s staircase as a “highly charged architectural element” which is “the one element unifying all irregularities.”
The tower is the third project to be completed by OMA at Fondazione Prada. The firm previously built 'Podium,' an exhibition pavilion at the center of the site, and 'Cinema,' a multimedia auditorium. "The renovated structures and the new buildings create a rich and spatially diverse setting for the visual and performing arts in Milan," OMA wrote.
The industrial complex which houses Fondazione Prada dates back to 1910. It consists of seven structures including warehouses, laboratories, and brewing silos surrounding a large courtyard. It became home to Fondazione Prada in 2015.
The ‘Torre’ project was led by Koolhaas and Chris van Duijn, along with project architect Federico Pompignoli.