In 1999, Prada embarked on a unique project in combination with AMO, the design think-tank arm of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), and architect Rem Koolhaas.
“Architecture must represent modernity,” Patrizio Bertelli observes, “and I believe Rem Koolhaas has been able to engage modernity better than anyone.”
Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli charged AMO with the task of analyzing trends in global shopping, conceptualizing new retail tools, and applying those findings to new kinds of stores. (Koolhaas was at that time conducting a seminar on retail architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.)
The result was a wide-ranging project that included three new special Epicenters, stores designed specifically to provide a working laboratory for experimental shopping experiences. The project included innovative programming ideas such as exhibitions, film screenings, concerts, and other public events.