Rem Koolhaas to design new Prada museum of contemporary art

An industrial site is being converted to display the fashion house’s collection of over 500 works

LONDON. The Italian fashion designer Miuccia Prada is to open a 17,500 sq. m. museum in Milan to display her collection of mainly large-scale, specially-commissioned work of the past 15 years by artists including Anish Kapoor, Louise Bourgeois, Sam Taylor-Wood, Francesco Vezzoli and Thomas Demand.

Ms Prada and her husband Patrizio Bertelli have commissioned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas to convert a vast industrial site in the south of Milan into a permanent exhibition space for their contemporary art collection which consists of over 500 works. The cost of the project is E25m ($39.9m); the museum is scheduled to open by 2012.

Since 1993, Ms Prada has commissioned new work for display through the Prada Foundation. Since 1995, this has gone on show at the foundation’s gallery in Via Fogazzaro, a former industrial space in central Milan where Prada also holds its fashion shows. This will remain open until the launch of the new complex. The current exhibition there is of installations by the Swedish artist Nathalie Djurberg (until 1 June).

The serving Prada foundation director, Italian art critic Germano Celant, will oversee the new centre which will include a central exhibition space, a display and storage area known as the “Tower” and an auditorium for theatre performances and conferences.

According to a spokeswoman, new work will be commissioned to mark the Koolhaas museum’s inauguration; artists have not yet been confirmed.

The foundation says that when the new space opens it will continue collaborating on projects with global institutions such as Tate Modern. In 2006, the Prada foundation collaborated on the “Secret History of Italian Cinema 1949-81” with the London gallery.

Gareth Harris

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