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ADI Design Museum - Compasso d'Oro  (ph: Roberto De Riccardis / Fondazione ADI Collezione Compasso d’Oro)

| Designbest editorial staff


here is a large, evocative and unfinished space where spectacular lights highlight the interplay of its building’s original ancient walls with the innovation of modern metal architecture. This is all taking place at the worksite of the new ADI Design Museum – Compasso d’Oro in Milan, where the design world recently met to get its first look.

A small party was held in this new space, which has been eagerly anticipated since its conception. It is a place which has already made a strong connection with its city. Its strategic location at the center of an intersection of Porta Volta, and its impressive, harmonious architecture, capable of fitting into this hip and lively neighborhood, has not disappointed.

The ADI Design Museum will be one of Europe’s largest design museums; and it won’t simply be a pedagogical one. It will be a “narrating system”, as ADI’s president Luciano Galimberti mentioned, because in addition to the exposition of 350 Compasso d’Oro objects, it will tell the story of products and design and host permanent and temporary exhibitions.

“ADI has always been one of the defenders of great design”, explained Italo Lupi of Migliore+Servetto Architects, who created the museum’s logotype, using a symbol created by Michele Provinciali for the X Triennale. The new museum will be a cultural gathering place that fully expresses the spirit of ADI: a vibrant space, open to the city, that will discuss the various connections within design. Design will not just be presented as a creative phenomenon “but also as a concrete commitment by designers and companies for a more livable society and environment”, as highlighted by Galimberti.

It is a space open to everyone, not only for enthusiasts, and has already collaborated with Milan and its most important institutions (the Association of Industrial Design—the capital of design history—in addition to city hall, the Region of Lombardy and the state), working in perfect synergy to promote the city.

“You can already sense the beauty that you will see”, said Milan mayor Giuseppe Sala in this space that shows, “that which was and what will be.” One just needs to walk through the doors to understand that here past and future can meet thanks to a renovation of the highest order, which with advanced systems (like the anti-seismic basalt system) has recovered history from old industrial buildings.

In a space where, once upon a time, there was a Milanese tram warehouse and then an Enel electrical power plant, today there is the new center of international design: 2,4000 m2, including 600 m2 dedicated to services (the foyer, café and bookshop), in addition to nearly 1,500 m2 of warehouses and 500 m2 of offices for ADI’s new headquarters. It is a hub that even includes a creative laboratory and space dedicated to the restoration of pieces. All of this demonstrates how design is capable of improving the lives of everyone whilst standing the test of time and never falling out of fashion.

For now, make a note of these dates: April 18, 2020, on the eve of Milan Design Week, the space will host the award ceremony and exhibition of the XXVI Compasso d’Oro, and in June will be officially opened to the public.


Where: ADI Design Museum – Compasso d’Oro, via Ceresio 7, Milan, Italy


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