Wide Open

“We shape our buildings. Therefore they shape us.”

– Winston Churchill –

Buildings are like garments, yet differently from them, one is enough to provide a bigger picture of change in society’s’ mentality and of course, structure.

Therefore when in 2015 Fondazione Prada inaugurated its new permanent exhibition space in Largo Isarco (Milan), many have been the questions about what role architecture should attain in the coming years.
OMA’s studio under the direction of Rem Koolhaas, long time collaborator of Prada Group, met the exciting challenge of reshaping and re-qualifying an old abandoned distillery standing in a spare side of the city.

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The aim was to suggest an intense sense of fluid harmony between past and future throughout the combination of Italian poetic elements with the dutch ones, which rather are more contemporarily linear and square.
The large use of a new type of aluminium, the golden façade, the asymmetric White Tower and eventually a key focus on doors’ function/aesthetic show evidence of a meticulous research that would prefer the assemblance of sophisticated and little details instead of a unique and imperative masterpiece.
In regard to Prada’s values of transparency and culture-sharing, another smart study has been done about how to better organize the internal and external spaces, which communicate each others thanks to wide windows and let visitors have a walk outside the structure while observing what is being performed inside.

“We embrace the idea that culture is deeply useful and necessary as well as attractive and engaging. Culture should help us with our everyday lives, and understand how we, and the world, are changing.”

In this precious statement, Fondazione Prada identifies what its mission and identity have been for over twenty years now and it has been perfectly mirrored by OMA.

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