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  • Bar Luce, designed by Wes Anderson. Fondazione Prada, Milano, 2015.

  • Bar Luce, designed by Wes Anderson. Fondazione Prada, Milano, 2015.

  • Exhibition view of “An Introduction”. Fondazione Prada, Milano, 2015.

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Bar Luce by Wes Anderson at Fondazione Prada, Milan

Prada has enlisted film director Wes Anderson to design a bar for Fondazione Prada, the new art and culture complex that the brand inaugurated last weekend in Largo Isarco, in the South of Milan. Fondazione Prada’s new permanent venue is housed in a distillery, dating back to 1910, which was remodeled by famous architect Rem Koolhaas and his OMA studio in order to stage various art galleries, which will host thematic exhibitions from the Prada collection, and a kids’ play area. Wes Anderson was inspired by Italian popular culture and aesthetics from the 1950s and 1960s, as well as by Memphis, the Italian design and architecture group that Ettore Sottsass founded in 1981, in order to come up with the bar’s pastel seats, Formica tables, terrazzo floor and veneered wood wall panels.

Other details include a vintage jukebox, industrial clocks, Fornasetti-inspired wallpaper and a series of pinball machines whose themes are taken from Anderson’s film “Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” (2004), as well as from “Castello Cavalcanti”, a Prada-commissioned short film that the director shot in 2013. Anderson also names as inspirations for Luce Bar two masterpieces of Italian Neorealism, both set in Milan: “Miracolo a Milano” (Miracle in Milan, 1951, Vittorio De Sica) and “Rocco e i suoi fratelli” (Rocco and His Brothers, 1960, Luchino Visconti). The nostalgic atmosphere of the café is furthermore reflected in its arched ceiling that has been preserved from the original structure, recreating a scaled-down version of the glass-vaulted roof of Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, one of the oldest shopping malls in the world.

Although Bar Luce gives the impression to have been taken out of a Wes Anderson movie, looking whimsical and familiar at the same time, it is made for real life, with numerous good spots for eating, drinking, talking and reading. “While I do think it would make a pretty good movie set,” Anderson explained in a statement, “I think it would be an even better place to write a movie. I tried to make it a bar I would want to spend my own non-fictional afternoons in.Bar Luce (Largo Isarco 2, 20139, Milan) is open daily from 9am to 10pm, making it the perfect meeting place for Anderson fans and Prada devotees that see life as a continuous challenge, full of amazing adventures.