Created in 1993 by Miuccia Prada and her husband Patricia Bertelli, Fondazione Prada is a philanthropic project whose main interest remains loyal to the investment of ideas and the analyses of present times through art. Supporting the the world of contemporary art through artist commissions, research exhibitions and initiatives related to cinema and the hosting of contemporary philosophy conferences, the Fondazione’s mission is to encourage and support the opportunity to extend and intensify the process of learning.
The Fondazione has continued to grow ever since it’s establishment and after a decade in the works a permanent cultural complex opened in Milan in 2015 to play home to the culturally enriching institute Fondazione Prada has become. Located away from the thrills and frills of Milan’s high life and in the middle of an industrial complex in a somewhat dismal part of town, the Fondazione is an amended former gin distillery which dates form 1910. The building complex was created around what remained of the formed distillery and as the brainchild of architectural firm OMA - co-founded by Rem Koolhaas - is now a collection of beautiful, modern and dynamic spaces that combine a variety of styles, spatial sizes, eras and creative concepts that are all encompassing, interactive and aesthetically inviting.
The multiplex is comprised of old and new and it is at times difficult to know if you’re in one of the seven older structures or one of the three newer constructs that were specifically built in order to complete the complex. One such infamous construct is the 'Haunted House', apparently Mrs. Prada's favourite space of all and a four story tower style building of which the exterior walls are finished in 24-carat gold leaf. Moving from room to room, building to building visitors have the privilege of delving into hundreds of art pieces that are on show from Prada’s private collection alongside non-permanent exhibitions and site specific installations. And whether it's before or after you've explored, a stop at Bar Luce, the sites bar/café which was designed by famed film director Wes Anderson who brings to life the old style Milanese café, is an absolute treat.
It works flawlessly and has quickly become one of the most respected and highly regarded cultural destinations in Italy. Check out what current exhibitions are showing and all other visitor related information at www.fondazioneprada.org