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PRADA’S GALLERY: With the new “Prada Galleria,” the Italian luxury fashion company plans to seriously expand its presence in Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, home to its first store, opened in 1913. To mark this centennial, the new venue will have a flexible layout and new sales space, house the Fondazione Prada, areas for events and the group’s headquarters. Last week, Prada unveiled the first phase of this project, which includes the renovation of an entire quadrant of the Galleria near the existing Prada store and the new men’s boutique on the ground floor.
The structure of the 19th-century Galleria consists of two glass-vaulted arcades intersecting in an octagon, topped by a glass dome. The Galleria connects two iconic Milan sites, the cathedral and the La Scala theater.
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.
Separately, Prada is also investing in an OMA/Rem Koolhaas project, the 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 seven-floor 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.