Prada Galleria in Milano



Prada opens a major project in Milan’s

Historic Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.



Milano, Italy, July 19th 2013 – Prada is global but its heart is Milan’s Galleria

Vittorio Emanuele II where Mario Prada opened his first shop in 1913. In

recognition of this centennial, and the fundamental place Milan holds in

the company’s collective psyche, Prada is refocusing on its point of origin,

and building an expanded presence in the ancestral home. The new “Prada

Galleria” will have a flexible layout and new sales space, the Fondazione

Prada, areas for events and the headquarters of the Prada Group, that will

bring new energy to Milan’s historic center and help revitalize an exquisite

urban landmark. On July 20th 2013 Prada will open the first phase of a

project that includes the renovation of an entire quadrant of the Galleria

facing the historic central intersection diagonally adjacent to the

existing Prada store. In fulfilment of the bid for tenders launched by the

municipality, Prada is undertaking some major refurbishment of the

building, including the facades and all the interiors. The operation

will effectively constitute an overall redevelopment of the entire structural

complex and its layout: from the general reconditioning to the installation

of a highly efficient and modern heating and air conditioning and security

systems. The “Prada Galleria” can today boast avant-garde technology both

in terms of respecting the uniqueness of the architectural context and

current legislation, and from the point of view of energy savings, thus

establishing an example of careful planning. This melding of historic

preservation, technological innovation and bespoke detail is characteristic

of Prada’s approach to architecture with projects that range from the on-going

historic renovation of Ca’ Corner della Regina in Venice as a home for

exhibitions curated by the Fondazione Prada, to the development of

innovative free-standing buildings by architects such as Rem Koolhaas

/Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and Herzog & de Meuron.

The promotion of historic structures in a contemporary key, with the aim of

creating lively and functional spaces in the place of monuments abandoned

by any form of social activity, is one of the distinctive features of Prada’s

culture. Of note is OMA/Rem Koolhaas’s transformation of an early 20th

century industrial site in Largo Isarco in Milan into a new art center

complex for the Fondazione Prada. The project involves the revitalization

of seven historic industrial structures as well as the construction of a

7-storey tower to house spaces for the permanent collection and a restaurant;

an auditorium for events, concerts and film festivals and a separate block

called the “Ideal Museum” for temporary exhibitions. Of all of the varied

architectural projects the company has undertaken, Milan’s Galleria

Vittorio Emanuele II holds a special place. With this project, Prada is

making a new commitment to the city that has been its home for one

hundred years and restating its central position in the Milanese culture.

If Mario Prada’s shop was the point of origin, in 1913, the new “Prada Galleria”

project is a statement about both the changing fortunes of the parent company

and the growth of fashion culture. It is an expression of how a classic

Milanese fashion company has grown into a global enterprise. In winning

the public bid for tenders launched by the municipality for the gallery spaces,

which saw the participation of leading international companies, Prada has

demonstrated that it is able to formulate not only the best offer, but also create

a long-term project combining a high-quality proposal and innovative content

with a particular focus on the cultural offer and the promotion of a site that is

symbolic of the city’s life. In compiling the winning entry, Prada carried out a

meticulous study of the spaces and architectural context in order to propose

solutions to the renovation and conservation of the building. Prada has

been working in concert with the public entities that own and supervise the

building from the moment they were selected as the partner for the project.

Together, the public officials and the company developed the objectives for

the renovation and the criterion for evaluation of the work plans, and all

progress has been supervised in communion with the municipal partners.

In particular, the project was initially submitted to the appraisal of the

Soprintendenza per i Beni Architettonici di Milano (Milan Supervisory

Board for Architecture), which also will review the successive phases of the

project. Phase one of the project includes the new shop on the ground floor

dedicated to the men’s collections. While the space is designed to reflect

the elegance and sophistication of the original Galleria shops, it also

benefits from advanced retail technology systems Prada has developed

throughout its global retail network. Later phases to open will include a

restaurant on the mezzanine, the restoration of the inner courtyard;and the

conversion of the upper floors as exhibition spaces for the Fondazione

Prada and headquarters of the Group. The Fondazione floors will be

outfitted with state-of- the-art exhibition and display facilities, lighting,

climate control and social fixtures to support public art exhibitions,

performances, presentations, and symposia. When complete, the new “Prada

Galleria” will bring a broad range of retail, lifestyle and cultural experiences

back to the heart of Milan, create new public venues to participate in

art and culture, and restore one of the most magnificent public spaces

and architectural landmarks in Italy. 






source: Cortesy of Prada Press Office