02.14.2017

A New Space for Culture, Entertainment and Technology in Milan

Exploring the new Fondazione Feltrinelli, a "palace for culture" which promises to revive to the surrounding area

  • A New Space for Culture, Entertainment and Technology in Milan
  • A New Space for Culture, Entertainment and Technology in Milan
  • A New Space for Culture, Entertainment and Technology in Milan
  • A New Space for Culture, Entertainment and Technology in Milan
  • A New Space for Culture, Entertainment and Technology in Milan
  • A New Space for Culture, Entertainment and Technology in Milan

A "palace for culture." That’s how the Italian President Sergio Mattarella defined the new Fondazione Feltrinelli in Milan, a huge glass and concrete building that has been towering over the old Porta Volta tollhouses, in an area destroyed by WW2 bombings and basically abandoned for seventy years, since last December.
 
Designed by the famous Swiss architecture studio Herzog & De Meuron, this iconic palace is not just another insanely expensive ‘archistar’ building, but the core of an all-round cultural project; and although it was entirely funded by private capital, it intends to serve as a public cultural hub and entertainment space for the neighborhood and the city.
 
The cultural value is given primarily by the legacy of the Foundation that bears the name of Giangiacomo Feltrinelli - founder of the Institute and of the publishing house of the same name - and promotes literature and culture since 1974. A legacy including 270,000 books and 16,000 periodicals, which makes the Foundation one of the main European documentation and research centers in the fields of history, politics, economy and sociology.
 
This heritage is available for scholars and private citizens through the Library, and it also serves as the basis for plenty of cultural events and conferences organized by the Foundation in its own spaces, and particularly in the Multipurpose Room.
The beautiful Reading Room on the top floor, under the sloping roof of the building and flooded with light from the large windows overlooking the city, is perhaps the most amazing space in the new headquarters - and the most loved too, to the point that it is really hard to find a free spot. It can be accessed free of charge subject to availability, and it is truly great to sit here and enjoy the quiet and the view.
 
On the ground floor is the Bookstore - not your usual Feltrinelli bookshop, but a smaller store concept whose departments are modeled on the disciplinary areas of research of the Foundation, ranging from humanities and social sciences to literature and visual arts. And within the library is yet another delightful social space, the Babitonga cafe, an island surrounded by books and open until late evening, where you can grab a bite any time of the day, from breakfast to the after-dinner cocktail, or sit and work on your laptop advantage of the free wi-fi spot.
 
The building also houses the new Italian Microsoft headquarters, which includes a consumer area showcasing the latest technologies of the company and an educational workshop for developers, startups and IT professionals.
 

Author : The Slowear Journal

SlowearTags.

Milano  | Feltrinelli  | Foundation  | Herzog & De Meuron  | Porta Volta  | culture  | books  | Babitonga  | cafe  |

related articles | Arts & Culture |