When I heard that film director Wes Anderson (famous for indie films such as The Royal Tenenbaums, The Darjeeling Limited, Moonrise Kingdom to name a few) had designed the interior of Bar Luce at the Fondazione Prada I had to go and check it out.
Anderson has re-created the atmosphere of a typical Milanese cafè with a 1950s style full of pastel colours and quirky details, the perfect place for a drink and a bite to eat while you pretend that you’re in your favourite Wes Anderson film..
The bar-staff is all dressed as they have stepped out of The Grand Budapest Hotel, I kept looking for the lobby boy but he was unfortunately not around. As it was a very hot and sunny day I had a classic spritz, which I enjoyed while observing the big crowd – a mix of hipsters and Italian families on a day out.
It has a ‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’ and a ‘Castello Cavalcanti’ pinball machine alongside a cool retro jukebox, a counter full of candy, cakes, food and drinks, and the most extravagance entrance to a WC I have ever seen.
“There is no ideal angle for this space. It is for real life, and ought to have numerous good spots for eating, drinking, talking, reading, etc. While I do think it would make a pretty good movie set, 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.” – Wes Anderson
Bar Luce opened this weekend and is a must-see for any Wes Anderson fans!
A giant green apple has appeared in the piazza del Duomo in Milan! It is eight meter high and completely covered in natural grass. The installation is ‘Terzo Paradiso La Mela Reintegrata‘ (Third Paradise – The Reinstated Apple) and will be on display from the 3rd to 18th of May. It was created by artist Michelangelo Pistoletto using the apple as a symbol of creation and life.
“The symbol of the apple is the whole history we have behind us, starting from the bite, which is the separation of mankind from nature and origin of the artificial world as it grew to the size of today’s all-encompassing. The apple is reinstated with entry into a new era in which the artificial world and the natural world are reunited producing a new planetary balance. The Third Paradise aims to reconcile different polarities as nature and artifice and can only be realized through the assumption of collective social responsibility.” – Michelangelo Pistoletto
As it was the first weekend of the EXPO 2015 we got a pair of evening tickets (they are only 5 euros!) to have a stroll around the site. It was great to get a little overview of everything before future visit’s, it’s so big you definitely need a lot of time to see and experience everything.
We got there quite late after some transport issues. First there was no parking as this must be booked in advance, then when we decided to take the train in from the city centre the doors wouldn’t open at the right station which resulted in a bit of a detour.. So when we got there we were very hungry. Luckily there was no queue at all and the security check went smoothly, so the process of getting in was very quick. Once inside we walked down the Decumano (the central way) trying to decide where to stop for a bite to eat. There are so many options it’s hard to choose. Each country have their own pavilion, and most of these have a restaurant of some sort in it, so you can basically eat food from all over the world.
We ended up at the Japan Pavilion, my boyfriend had read recommendations online and we know we love Japanese food so it was a no brainer. There you can order food from 3 different famous Japanese restaurants in a food court, all through a click on a machine at the entrance. We tried the rice burger menu from MOS Burger, which seems to be Japan’s answer to McDonald’s. The menu included a burger, fries and a bottle of Coke, all for just 12euros. This was a great choice, the burger was so delicious and not too heavy because of it mainly being rice! A little bonus was this cute little “Let’s learn together with Hello Kitty about Japanese food culture” leaflet you get with the meal.
After the food we had a walk through the rest of the site, and ended up at the Lake Arena in the Italian area for the final evening show. Here in the water you can find the Tree of Life surrounded by fountains coming to life with artistic water-play complemented by music and lights. The Tree of Life is a 37 metres tall wood and steel structure constructed by Orgoglio Brescia and designed by Marco Balich. The show is an amazing experience and has to be seen in real life, the highlight of our evening and a great way to end the visit.
My first brief visit to the EXPO was very nice, and I can’t wait to go back to see (and eat) more!
Yesterday we spent the day in sunny Milan. We had a wander around in the main shopping street which was quite full even for a Tuesday.
For lunch we went to the Brian & Barry Building (again), for a piadina at Eataly on the -1 floor. I had the classic prosciutto, squacquerone cheese & rocket, and it was very good! If you haven’t had a piadina before then I recommend trying one in Italy as it is a nice lighter option to a sandwich. It reminds me a bit of a tortilla, but the difference is that it’s made from flour instead of corn for a softer flavour.
Then we went to Piazza Affari to look at this 13 feet tall sculpture of a massive middle finger in front of the stock exchange. It was designed by Mauritzio Cattelan who pokes fun at popular culture, history, and religion with black humor. The sculpture is called L.O.V.E. which is an acronym of libertà (freedom), odio (hate), vendetta (revenge), and eternità (eternity), but is popularly known as just “The Middle Finger”.
“Officially it’s name is L.O.V. E. – so it stands for love – but everyone can read between the lines and take away the message they see for themselves.” – Maurizio Cattelan
The day ended with a coffee at the Juicebar, a nice place but I might have to go back to try one of their juices next time.
Last week I went to the ‘La Bellezza Quotidiana’ // ‘The Everyday Beauty’, a design exhibition by Triennale Design Museum promoting and enhancing Italian design icons throughout time. It contains a selection of over 200 iconic pieces laid out in chronological order, starting in 1945 and ending up in 2015. It contains designs by the big masters Alessandro Mendini, Andrea Branzi, Gio Ponti, Piero Fornasetti, Franco Albini, Bruno Munari, together with young, new designers such as Lorenzo Damiani, Martino Gamper and Fabio Novembre.
Below is the timeline of all the designs featured in the exhibition, just click on the image to view larger:
It is so fascinating to see the development and innovation that has happened over the years, and very interesting to see how many of these pieces still have a very modern and new feel to them. Italy is seen as being a worldwide trendsetter and leader in design, which you can clearly see in the collection of items displayed at ‘La Bellezza Quotidiana’.
One piece that especially caught my eye was the ‘PRATONE’, designed by Giorgio Ceretti, Pietro Derossi and Riccardo Rosso for Gruppo Strum in 1971. At first glance I had no idea what it could be, it looks like a section of oversized grass and has a pop-art style to it. When getting closer to it and reading the sign saying it was a chair I still felt a bit confused, as it does not resemble anything you would traditionally call a chair. It is primarily a work of art, but also functional and quite comfortable by the looks of it (see here.)
Photo by ingridesign
I also love the quirky ‘Sending Animals’ furnitures, designed by Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba for Seletti. These playful animal-shaped storage units are made from wooden shipping crates, a fun way to display your homeware.
Photo by ingridesign
The exhibition is located in the attic of the Villa Reale in Monza, a stunning location and a must-see if you are ever in the Milan area. It was the summer villa for the Italian royal family up until 1900 and is surrounded by Monza Park, one of the largest enclosed parks in Europe. The villa was recently restored, and is now open to the public as a museum but also hosts temporary exhibitions and events. There is a restaurant area near the entrance that serves lovely food and drinks, and a little book shop where you can have a browse.
Photo by ingridesign
The exhibition design is by Michele De Lucchi, with a minimalistic and organic style. Each item is displayed on untreated wood crates, which works very well with the wood and brick surroundings of the interior space. Each area is divided into a section focusing on the time period nicely displayed on the floor when entering. It is nice as it feels like you are having a walk through the history of Italian design.
Photo by Triennial di Milano
If you do go to the exhibition be sure to check out the amazing photography exhibition ‘Oltre Lo Sguardo’ // ‘Beyond The Look’ by Steve McCurry also located at the villa. The exhibition shows his latest work alongside some of his best-known images. The highlight being the portrait of Sharbat Gula which was on the cover of National Geographic in 1985 and has since become one of the icons of world photography.