Osservatorio is an exhibition space dedicated to photography and visual languages, located in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan.
It is a place where trends and expressions in contemporary photography are explored, investigating the constant evolution of this medium and its connections with other disciplines and creative realms. At a time when photography has become part of the global flow of digital communications, through Osservatorio’s activities Fondazione Prada will question the cultural and social implications of current photographic production and its reception. Fondazione is thus extending the range of tools and approaches through which it interprets and interacts with present times.
Extending across the fifth and sixth floors of one of the Galleria’s main buildings, Osservatorio is located above the central octagon, at the level of the glass and iron dome that covers the arcades, realized by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1867. The spaces, rebuilt after the Second World War after downtown Milan was bombed in 1943, have now been fully restored, providing an 800-square-meter exhibition space that develops across two levels.
The restoration project allowed to preserve all vertical supporting concrete structures, as well as all wood and brick attics, bolstered with iron supports. The floors have been realized employing the wood from the original flooring, whereas all façades overlooking the dome of the Galleria are wide glass windows.