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Knoll Brings Sophistication and History to Milan Restaurant

07/13/2018 By Kadie Yale

In May 2018, the OMA-designed Milan locale of Fondazione Prada—an institution dedicated to contemporary art and culture—celebrated the completion of the two-story Restaurant Torre.

Designed by Rem Koolhaas in collaboration with Chris van Duijn and Federico Pompignoli of OMA, the restaurant is “a collage of pre-existing themes and elements,” said Koolhaas.

Repositioning seven existing buildings from a 1910 gin distillery on the southern edge of Milan and adjoining three new structures, the industrial complex gives the Fondazione Prada a raw template from which new art is created. The addition of the Restaurant Torre blends art with classic historical styles, namely from the wide range of Knoll classics.

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Knoll products included in the project are:

  • The Conference Chairs designed by Eero Saarinen in 1954
  • The Brno Chairs designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1930 for the Villa Tugendhat in Brno, Czech Republic
  • Original furnishings of the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York designed by Philip Johnson and Mies van der Rohe in 1958 that were part of the contentious auction of the space in 2016
  • Tables from the collection designed by Saarinen in 1957

Restaurant Torre marks a milestone in the design and construction of the Fondazione Prada. With planning by OMA beginning in 2008 and the first completed portion of the complex opening to the public in 2015, Restaurant Torre and the Torre Building in which it’s housed ties the ribbon on a project a decade in the making.

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