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Sunday, April 27, 2008

The new Prada Foundation revealed...

"After more than 15 years of activity, the Prada Foundation felt the need to widen its own exhibition spaces and broaden its cultural perspective. The enriched course of research we would like to undertake will be expressed through the expansion of projects realized in a dialogue with artists, and in future collaborations with leading international museums, institutes for contemporary art, architecture and design, as well as partners for temporary exhibitions. For this reason, we have commissioned the Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) led by Rem Koolhaas to plan the transformation of an early 20th-century industrial site south of Milan. The Prada Foundation’s new and permanent exhibition spaces will be in a location that includes buildings dating from 1910s. Koolhaas’s project will add an exhibition building, auditorium and tower to the existing structure to house selections of works from the collection and temporary shows. It will be a unique approach to the idea of the co-existence of contemporary architecture with the regeneration of an historic area, representing the evolution of Milanese industrial development that continues through the present day. In ongoing efforts to widen the Prada Foundation’s range of activities, the new auditorium will make it possible to host various festivals, theater performances, symposia and lectures on literature, art, cinema, design, architecture, philosophy and global media." —Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli

"It is surprising that the enormous expansion of the art system has taken place in a reduced number of typologies for arts’ display. It seems that the arts’ apotheosis is unfolding in an increasingly limited repertoire of spatial conditions: the gallery (white, abstract and neutral), the industrial space (attractive because its predictable conditions do not challenge the artist’s intentions), the contemporary museum (a barely disguised version of the department store) and the purgatory of the arts fair. The new Prada Foundation is projected in a former industrial complex too, but one with unusually diverse spatial environments. We plan to add three new structures that vastly extend the range of its facilities and accomodations. The new Foundation is intended as a collection of artefacts that encounters a collection of architectural typologies. Not only will the range of spatial conditions be extended, but also the range of contents itself. Apart from spaces for assembly and performance, both Prada’s and Luna Rossa’s archives will be opened, establishing a continuity of creative and intellectual effort." —Rem Koolhaas