Rem Koolhaas on Prada, Preservation, Art and Architecture

09:30 - 31 July, 2015
Rem Koolhaas on Prada, Preservation, Art and Architecture, The Fondazione Prada in southern Milan houses the fashion brand’s namesake arts foundation, established by Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli more than two decades ago. Opened in May, the walled-in compound is a small city of culture, with a series of revitalized industrial buildings linked by de Chirico–like “streets” and piazzettas. Image © Bas Princen - Fondazione Prada
The Fondazione Prada in southern Milan houses the fashion brand’s namesake arts foundation, established by Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli more than two decades ago. Opened in May, the walled-in compound is a small city of culture, with a series of revitalized industrial buildings linked by de Chirico–like “streets” and piazzettas. Image © Bas Princen - Fondazione Prada

With the opening of the Fondazione Prada art galleries in May, OMA showed a different side to their practice, one focusing on preservation and assemblage rather than the iconography and diagrammatic layout that many associate with the firm. In this interview, originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Koolhaas Talks Prada," Rem Koolhaas explains the reasoning behind this new approach, and how they attempted to avoid falling into the clichés of post-industrial art spaces.

When the Fondazione Prada opened its doors to a new permanent home in Milan dedicated to contemporary culture, it not only placed the Italian city firmly at the forefront of today’s global art world, but also introduced an ambitious new way of thinking about the relationship between architecture and art. The location—an original 1910 distillery in a distinctly gritty part of the city—comprised seven spaces including warehouses and three enormous brewing cisterns with a raw industrial quality that the architects, Dutch firm OMA, retained while adding three new buildings made of glass, white concrete, and aluminum foam. One, the centrally located Podium, is intended for temporary shows, while another—still under construction—is a nine-story tower that will house the foundation’s archives, art installations, and a restaurant. The third, a theater with a mirrored facade, features folding walls that allow the building to open onto a courtyard. In total, the collection of buildings provides nearly 120,000 square feet of exhibition space, more than twice that of the new Whitney Museum of American Art. Metropolis correspondent Catherine Shaw visited the site with Pritzker Prize–winning architect Rem Koolhaas to find out more about the challenges of creating a new cultural paradigm.

OMA’s approach to the exhibition pavilions is eclectic, though undeniably modern. (Note the Miesian detail of the vertical beam affixed to the building envelope). Image © Bas Princen - Fondazione Prada The Fondazione’s inaugural exhibition, the Serial Classic, explores questions of authenticity and imitation in classical antiquity. The lifesize sculptures are mounted on an intricate flooring system designed for the exhibition and composed of travertine, brushed aluminum, and perspex—all exposed along the edges. Image © Attilio Maranzano The gilded exhibition hall is the central focal point of the Fondazione. Called the Haunted House, the structure’s blank utilitarian features are draped in gold leaf, an ostensibly spontaneous extravagance that Koolhaas post-rationalizes on functionalist grounds. The building towers above the rest of the campus’s open-air spaces and warehouses, which all can be taken in from the Haunted House’s balconies. Image © Bas Princen - Fondazione Prada The Fondazione encompasses a veritable townscape consisting of warehouse hangars interwoven with the new buildings. The former are subtly spruced up, indicated by the linear orange markings repeated on their exterior. Elevation changes in the ground variegate the pedestrian’s experience of the compound while demarcating the Fondazione’s important nodes, such as the cinema clad in a mirrored veneer. Touches likes this lend the complex a haunting, almost surrealist dimension. Image © Bas Princen - Fondazione Prada +9

Milan Restores Famous Rainbow Tower Tiles

08:00 - 30 July, 2015
Milan Restores Famous Rainbow Tower Tiles, Courtesy of Studio Original Designers 6R5 Network
Courtesy of Studio Original Designers 6R5 Network

The Milan City Council, in partnership with the Rete Ferroviaria Italiana Gruppo FS Italiane railway authorities, has completed the restoration of the famous Torre Arcobaleno (Rainbow Tower) at Porto Garibaldi. 

ENEL Pavilion / Piuarch

01:00 - 18 July, 2015
ENEL Pavilion / Piuarch, © Andrea Martiradonna
© Andrea Martiradonna
  • Architects

  • Location

    Expo Gate, Via Luca Beltrami, 20121 Milano, Italy
  • Architect in Charge

    Francesco Fresa, Germàn Fuenmayor, Gino Garbellini, Monica Tricario
  • Design Team

    Gianni Mollo, Marco Dragoni, Davide Fascione, Enrico Pellegrini, Jenny Spagnolatti, Gianluca Iannotta, Alessandro Leanti, Santiago Trujillo, Anna Zauli
  • Area

    900.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2015
  • Photographs

© Andrea Martiradonna © Andrea Martiradonna © Andrea Martiradonna © Andrea Martiradonna +20

One Photographer's Definitive Guide to the Pavilions of the 2015 World Expo

04:00 - 16 July, 2015
One Photographer's Definitive Guide to the Pavilions of the 2015 World Expo, 2015 World Expo Milan: 'Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life'. Image © Darren Bradley
2015 World Expo Milan: 'Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life'. Image © Darren Bradley

Darren Bradley, an architectural photographer and Instagrammer (@modarchitecture) based in San Diego, has shared a definitive collection of photographs from the 2015 World Expo. Each pavilion in the 1.1million square metre exhibition area, located just outside of Milan, is showcasing the best of their technology which offer "a concrete answer to a vital need: being able to guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone, while respecting the planet and its equilibrium."

Dome Pavilion Milan Expo 2015 / Studio Mosae

04:00 - 11 July, 2015
Dome Pavilion Milan Expo 2015 / Studio Mosae, © Filippo Poli
© Filippo Poli

The “madonnina” in Expo brings the centuries-old history of the construction of the Duomo, one of the greatest gothic cathedral in Europe, milan heritage for humanity, a symbol of christian devotion and commitment. Not only a christian symbol but a laic one too for the entire city of Milan, that represents all the cultures that make Milan alive.

Gino Valle Square / Valle Architetti Associati

15:00 - 23 June, 2015
Gino Valle Square / Valle Architetti Associati, Courtesy of Valle Architetti Associati
Courtesy of Valle Architetti Associati

© Giuseppe Dall'Arche (courtesy Valle Architetti Associati) © Hanns Joostens (courtesy Topotek 1) © Giuseppe Dall'Arche (courtesy Valle Architetti Associati) Courtesy of Valle Architetti Associati +24

Copagri Pavilion ‘Love IT’ / EMBT

05:00 - 19 June, 2015
Copagri Pavilion ‘Love IT’ / EMBT, © Marcela Grassi
© Marcela Grassi

The pavilion designed for Copagri called ‘Love IT’ is located in the south-east part of the Lake Arena – a large circular pool of water at the end of the Cardo, one of the main axes of the Expo Milano 2015 masterplan – and surrounded by the European Union Pavilion and the Vanke Pavilion.

2015 European Summer Exhibition Guide

04:00 - 8 June, 2015
2015 European Summer Exhibition Guide

Exhibitions, much like publications and films, are one of the key contemporary methods for the communication of architectural concepts and ideas. They allow the practice, curator or educative body to edit and present information and visuals in a way which narrates a story, provokes new ideas, or feeds into a wider discourse. For many, exhibitions are an invaluable source of inspiration and an engaging way of gaining new, or reaffirming old, knowledge and design precedents. Intimately linked to the space or place in which they are displayed, the best exhibitions also remind us that the practice of architecture is both a profession and a discipline; a valuable way of understanding the built, and unbuilt, world we live in.

If you're traveling to, living or studying in Europe this summer then dive into our compilation of what we consider to be some of the most informative and exciting exhibitions on show in between June and October 2015. If you visit them, or any other exhibitions that you enjoy, share a photograph on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #archdailyexhibitions.

Check out our favourite exhibitions on architecture, urbanism and design, from Jyväskylä to Milano, after the break. 

Architecture: Concept and Notation at SAM The Brutalist Playground, London. Image © Assemble & Simon Terrill UK Pavilion / Wolfgang Buttress. Image © Laurian Ghinitoiu 'Africa' at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Image © Kere Dano +7

BINARIO 11 / Andrea Langhi Design

17:00 - 5 June, 2015
BINARIO 11 / Andrea Langhi Design, © Daniele Domenicali
© Daniele Domenicali
  • Architects

  • Location

    Milan, Italy
  • Design Team

    Andrea Langhi Design, Samanta Volpi, Santo Scibetta, Samuele Bernasconi
  • Area

    150.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

© Daniele Domenicali © Daniele Domenicali © Daniele Domenicali © Daniele Domenicali +23

Germany Pavilion – Milan Expo 2015 / SCHMIDHUBER + Milla & Partner + Nüssli.

09:00 - 5 June, 2015
Courtesy of SCHMIDHUBER /+ Milla & Partner + Nüssli.
Courtesy of SCHMIDHUBER /+ Milla & Partner + Nüssli.
  • Architects

  • Location

    Milan, Italy
  • Overall Responsibility

    German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, Bonn
  • Team

    SCHMIDHUBER + Milla & Partner + Nüssli
  • Project Year

    2015
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of SCHMIDHUBER /+ Milla & Partner + Nüssli.

Courtesy of SCHMIDHUBER /+ Milla & Partner + Nüssli. Courtesy of SCHMIDHUBER /+ Milla & Partner + Nüssli. Courtesy of SCHMIDHUBER /+ Milla & Partner + Nüssli. Courtesy of SCHMIDHUBER /+ Milla & Partner + Nüssli. +17

Inside the Spanish Pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015

06:00 - 2 June, 2015
Inside the Spanish Pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015, © Iñigo Bujedo-Aguirre
© Iñigo Bujedo-Aguirre

Spanish photographers Iñigo Bujedo-Aguirre and Adrià Goula have shared with us images of the Spanish pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015. Designed by B720 Fermín Vazquez Arquitectos, the pavilion represents the fusion between Spain’s traditional food and innovative gastronomy. This duality creates an attractive and flexible space, which incorporates an open, patio-like area with orange trees – another symbol of Spanish culture.  

Slow Food Pavilion - Milan Expo 2015 / Herzog & de Meuron

03:00 - 26 May, 2015
Slow Food Pavilion - Milan Expo 2015 / Herzog & de Meuron, © Marco Jetti
© Marco Jetti
  • Architects

  • Location

    Milan, Italy
  • Partner in Charge

    Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Andreas Fries
  • Area

    12589.0 ft2
  • Project Year

    2015
  • Photographs

© Marco Jetti © Marco Jetti © Marco Jetti © Marco Jetti +10

Insider Glimpses Of The Milan Expo Site Hours Before It Officially Opened

05:00 - 11 May, 2015
Insider Glimpses Of The Milan Expo Site Hours Before It Officially Opened, © Delfino Sisto Legnani
© Delfino Sisto Legnani

Milan-based photographer Delfino Sisto Legnani recently spent time in the compound of the 2015 Milan Expo twenty four hours prior to the inauguration of the event, which officially opened at the start of this month. This unique insight, captured through his lens and preserved for posterity, shows the state of the site and pavilions just before the Italian military began their final safety and security checks. Cables, garbage and hazard tape is strewn across the pavilion entrances and public spaces, while lorries and white vans unload the last of the interiors.

Tour Legnani's photo-essay after the break.

© Delfino Sisto Legnani © Delfino Sisto Legnani © Delfino Sisto Legnani © Delfino Sisto Legnani +26

A Guided Tour Of The 2015 Milan Expo

10:30 - 8 May, 2015
© Hufton+Crow
© Hufton+Crow

With 145 countries participating in the 2015 Expo, alongside input from international organizations, corporate partners and an extensive program organized by the Expo itself, there's a lot going on in Milan right now. So much so, in fact, that it can be a little overwhelming to get a handle on all the sights that are worth your attention.

To help you out, we've put together a guided tour of the key pavilions that are turning heads, including the defining vistas of the expo grounds, the displays that are worth your time and the oddities that might entertain. From the Expo's defining icon, the 30-meter-tall Tree of Life, to the exhibition on architecture's favorite consumable (that's coffee), and all the national pavilions in between, the things you need to see are here. Whether you're planning to visit the Expo and want a quick and dirty way to ensure you've covered the highlights, or whether you're simply hoping to live vicariously through the internet, this tour is for you.

© Evan Rawn © Evan Rawn © Min Keun Park © Hufton+Crow +38

Fondazione Prada / OMA

12:00 - 7 May, 2015
Fondazione Prada / OMA, © Bas Princen - Fondazione Prada
© Bas Princen - Fondazione Prada
  • Architects

  • Location

    Largo Isarco, 2, 20139 Milano, Italy
  • Partners in Charge

    Rem Koolhaas, Chris van Duijn
  • Project leader

    Federico Pompignoli
  • Preliminary Design Team

    Sam Aitkenhead, Doug Allard, Andrea Bertassi, Aleksandr Bierig, Eva Dietrich, Paul-Emmanuel Lambert, Jonah Gamblin, Takuya Hosokai, Stephen Hodgson, Jan Kroman, Jedidiah Lau, Francesco Marullo, Vincent McIlduff, Alexander Menke, Aoibheann Ni Mhearain, Sophie van Noten, Jan Pawlik, Rocio Paz Chavez, Christopher Parlato, Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, Dirk Peters, Andrea Sollazzo, Michaela Tonus, Jussi Vuori, Luca Vigliero, Mei-Lun Xue
  • Final Project Team

    Anna Dzierzon, Jonah Gamblin, Ross Harrison, Hans Hammink, Matthew Jull, Taiga Koponen, Vincent Konate, Andres Mendoza, Susanan Mondejar, Vincent McIlduff, Sasha Smolin, Michaela Tonus
  • Area

    18900.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2015
  • Photographs

© Charlie Koolhaas - OMA © Bas Princen - Fondazione Prada © Bas Princen - Fondazione Prada © Bas Princen - Fondazione Prada +17

Camera Chiara / Annabel Karim Kassar

03:00 - 5 May, 2015
Camera Chiara / Annabel Karim Kassar, © Nicoló Lanfranchi
© Nicoló Lanfranchi
  • Architects

  • Location

    Milan, Italy
  • Architects and Interiors

    Annabel Karim Kassar architect, creative director/ Rabih Zeidan architect, project manager / Violaine Jeantet interior architect / 
Christophe Hascoet lighting designer / Caï light lighting designer / Alain Pin lighting designer terra cruda
  • Project

    Sergio Sabbadini architect
  • Project Year

    2015
  • Photographs

© Nicoló Lanfranchi © Nicoló Lanfranchi © Interni © Interni +22

Take A Look At Milan Expo's 2015 Pavilions on Opening Day

14:54 - 1 May, 2015
Take A Look At Milan Expo's 2015 Pavilions on Opening Day, The USA Pavilion's 7,200-square-foot vertical farm. Image © Saverio Lombardi Vallauri
The USA Pavilion's 7,200-square-foot vertical farm. Image © Saverio Lombardi Vallauri

Italy's global commercial fair, Milan Expo 2015 opened today. The six month event, expected to attract nearly 20 million visitors, is showcasing 54 national pavilions, among a number of corporate and multinational installations, all focused on "Feeding the Planet" and promoting their national cuisine. Pavilions by Foster + Partners, Herzog & de Meuron, SPEECHDaniel Libeskind and many others will remain on view through October 31. 

Take a look at some of the fair's most talked about pavilions on opening day, after the break. 

Bêka and Lemoine's Mini-Series Captures OMA's Final Month of Construction on Fondazione Prada

15:22 - 27 April, 2015

Building up to the May 9 opening of OMA's Fondazione Prada, Italian filmmakers Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine have released 15-video series that captures the rhythmic and somewhat "transient" nature of the project's last month of construction. Part of a long ongoing relationship between Prada and OMA, the highly anticipated venue will be an "unusually diverse environment" sculpted from a historic 20th-century distillery south of Milan's city center that will be used to exhibit art.