Fondazione Prada

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Fondazione Prada - A Museum of Modern Art

Published by Astha Chopra — one year ago

The Fondazione Prada, a museum/gallery dedicated to the display of art in the form of paintings, frames and installations, is located in the South of Milan. It has designed by Rem Koolhaus of the architecture firm OMA. It houses both permanent and temporary exhibitions, a cafe and a biblioteca. 

Fondazione Prada - A Museum of Modern Art

Getting there

The Fondazione Prada is located at Largo Isarco, 2 in the South of Milan. It can be reached through various means of public transport:

Metro underground - M3 Lodi T.I.B.B. stop

Tram - Number 24, Via Ripamonti/Via Lorenzini

Bus - Line 65, Largo Isarco stop

It is open to the public each day of the week except Tuesday, timings being 10 am to 7 pm on weekdays and till 9 pm on weekends.

The tickets range from 10 to 15 euros, depending on your visit (since the Fondazione houses both permanent and temporary exhibits and also a Haunted House exhibit, the tickets vary in price depending on what you want to see).

I visited the Permanent exhibit and the Haunted House and paid 8 euros, with a concession of 2 euros because of the Erasmus card. (Side note: The ticket also allows you to visit the Prada observatory at Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II till a determined time, so be sure to take advantage of that!)

Architecture and Design

The Fondazione is designed in a compound of seven existing buildings and three new forms. Of the architecture, being from the same field, I observed that the design concept revolves around spaces, specifically the spatial typologies of each form, that do not follow any singular direction. Rather, the architecture follows both verticality and horizontality in a seemingly random manner, determined to give meaning to the various typologies of art the buildings display within.

Fondazione Prada - A Museum of Modern Art

What to see

After purchasing my ticket, I visited first the building Torre, the tall tower at the back of the compound, which houses the permanent exhibition called "Atlas", spread across five floors. From the ground floor I took an elevator up, the idea of the exhibit being that we work our way down through the art displayed. The strategically designed elevator has a glass back, and while going up you get a spectacular view of the city of Milan. (Side note: Visit just before sunset so that you are able to experience the beautiful setting sun over the horizon of the city of Milan).

Fondazione Prada - A Museum of Modern Art

The first exhibit was a one of a kind sensory experience. I had to walk through a winding corridor deprived of my visual senses - the thin corridor was pitch black, and there were rails on either side to help me find my way forward. This corridor led me to a room of an upside down installation of huge mushrooms - some stationary, some slowly revolving. The experience was literally like I had dropped into a rabbit hole and got up in another dimension. It was fun, memorable and creative. 

Fondazione Prada - A Museum of Modern Art

From there on, I walked down and visited the other floors. These were more consistent with a museum or a gallery, displaying installations and art on the walls. All of the art displayed is from the Prada Collection, realized between the years of 1960 and 2016. (Side note: The Torre building has huge floor to ceiling glass windows that provide panoramic views of the city and the mountain range behind). 

Fondazione Prada - A Museum of Modern Art

Fondazione Prada - A Museum of Modern Art

My next stop was the Haunted House. Displayed on various levels of another tower, though shorter and quite smaller, the exhibit was nothing like I had imagined. It was quite literally art, the spookiness being in how realistic the horrors felt. The exhibit was diplayed in 'rooms', and each room had a different perspectibe of what could really be defined as 'haunting'.

The last exhibit I visited was the “Il sarcofago di Spitzmaus e altri tesori” (Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and Other Treasures) designed by Wes Anderson and Juman Malouf. This is located next to the Haunted House tower in the Podium, a one floor rectangular hall. The exhibition does not really have a single theme; it displays pieces picked by Anderson and Malouf from the Kunsthistorisches Museum and Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna. The exhibit plays on the experience of us as subjects experiencing exhibitions and museums, designed with different 'boxes' that display different themes. Paintings, objects, clothes - everything is displayed strategically. It was one of the strangest, yet oddly unforgettable, experience I have had in a museum.

Fondazione Prada - A Museum of Modern Art

The Fondazione Prada is a very unique museum, be it its architecture, exhibits or conception. Thought provoking and mesmerizing, the exhibits have been one of my highlights of Milan. It is definitely worth a visit and deserves a place in the itinerary of anyone visiting Milan for a few days. 

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