Submitted by Francesca Cuoghi

The White Tower of Fashion Designs the Skyline

Italy Architecture News - Jul 10, 2018 - 14:15   15114 views

The White Tower of Fashion Designs the Skyline

A former distillery (Società Italiana Spiriti) has been transformed in a masterpiece of contemporary architecture in Milan that has become the headquarters of Fondazione Prada (Prada Foundation), one of the most relevant fashion industry in the world. The industrial complex traces back to the 1910’s and it has been completely redesigned with great appeal by OMA/Rem Koolhaas. The project involves seven existing structures, including warehouses, laboratories, and brewing silos and three new structures including a museum for temporary exhibitions, a transformable cinema building and a tower.

The White Tower of Fashion Designs the Skyline

The Torre is 60-meters high and it is realized in exposed white concrete to express a sort of "underground feeling". 

The building is composed of nine floors and each of them offers an original perception of the internal environments thanks to a specific combination of three spatial parameters: plan dimension, clear height and orientation. Half of the levels is in fact developed on a rectangular floor plan, while the other half displays a trapezoid one.

The White Tower of Fashion Designs the Skyline

The alternation of concrete and glass is the featuring aspect of this project. The southern side of Torre presents a diagonal structure connecting it to the Deposito, and inside which a panoramic elevator is integrated. As stated by Rem Koolhaas, "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 offers an endless variety of conditions".

The White Tower of Fashion Designs the Skyline

On the sixth floor, there is a out-of-ordinary restaurant inside the "Torre" refurbished with original pieces from the "Four Seasons Restaurant" in New York, designed by Philip Johnson in 1958. Inspired by the tradition of the Italian restaurant, the walls display artists’ plates especially created for the restaurant by John Baldessari, Thomas Demand, Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, Elmgreen & Dragset, Joep Van Lieshout, Goshka Macuga, Mariko Mori, Tobias Rebherger, Andreas Slominski, Francesco Vezzoli and John Wesley.

The White Tower of Fashion Designs the Skyline

The rooftop terrace was conceived as a flexible space hosting a bar. It is characterized by a black and white optical floor decoration and by a mirror clad balustrade which creates a reflection effect, capable of visually erasing the barrier between the actual space and the 360° view on the city of Milan.

All images © Bas Princen  

> via Fondazione Prada