Designed by Rem Koolhaas with Chris van Duijn and Federico Pompignoli from the OMA design studio, the Prada Tower represents the final piece in the Prada Foundation jigsaw, after its launch three years ago. The building – made from white cement – encompasses nine storeys: six stories are home to exhibition areas, while the other three feature a restaurant and other visitor services.
Atop the tower is a terrace with rooftop bar, designed to be a flexible, exclusive space. The flooring features an optical illusion in black and white, made using tiles from Lea Ceramiche’s Absolute collection. The design is made up of a sequence of rectangular tiles in Slimtech porcelain stoneware which have been cut to measure and arranged according to a set geometric pattern. As a result, the surface seems bigger, while the mirrors used around the edges of the terrace erase the barrier between the rooftop space and the stunning 360° views of the city. The minimalism and purity of the materials – which feature just two dominant colours – and the unique laying pattern create attractive, subtle curves on the surface, delivering a high-impact aesthetic punch to the terrace.
Absolute Total White was also used for the flooring of some of the service areas, with bespoke 12x12cm tiles produced to create a tight criss-cross pattern on the surface.
As in the Prada Tower terrace project, the qualities of the tiles – combined with the company’s production capabilities and expertise – have enabled Lea Ceramiche to adapt its standard formats to fit the requirements of the designers and supply a custom-made product. It’s a fine example of how designers can work with members of the dynamic Italian production sector to great effect.