Our visit to Fondazione Prada would not be complete without a separate special mention for the mid-century themed, Wes Anderson designed Bar Luce.
The spaces of the OMA-designed Fondazione Prada were a lesson in clean minimalism, with colour palettes of white and grey and intrinsically placed metallic details (the exuberant golden tower of the “Haunted House” aside). Turning the corner to the bar had us delving unexpectedly into the retro-tinted world of Wes Anderson and suddenly we felt as if we had been transported directly to one of his film sets.
And herein lies the point, the coffee and cakes may be great, but the scene here is where the show is really at. Bar Luce is the filmmaker’s first foray into the world of interior design and in it what he aims to capture is the atmosphere of traditional Milanese café culture, particularly those dating back to the 1950s and 60s.
Wes Anderson himself explains “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 in. I tried to make it a bar I would want to spend my own non-fictional afternoons in.”
The influences are visible in numerous details. Veneered wood paneling lines the walls, delightful pastel shades are colour blocked onto Formica furniture, a pink terrazzo floor is speckled with flashes of red, grey and white. The vaulted ceiling is highlighted with whimsical wallpaper to mimic Milan’s iconic Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele and is topped with two rows of spherical pendant lights. At the end of the bar, pinball machines and a retro Jukebox have been carefully placed. At the bar itself, shelves are decorated with glass jars full to the brim of pastel coloured sweets and a glass cabinet reveals berried crostate, doughnuts filled with cream and cakes covered in thick pastel pink topped with green icing writing, which look so beautiful they are almost too good to eat, but,as you will see from the pictures, we delved in all the same!
Text by Harriet Anderson
Photo by Chiara Redaschi