Created in 2004 by converting the vast industrial facilities that once belonged to Ansaldo-Breda, Pirelli HangarBicocca boasts 15,000 square metres of exhibition spaces, making it one of Europe’s largest centres for contemporary art, one that is rooted in the industrial past of the Bicocca area and which represents the culmination of over 140 years of corporate culture at Pirelli.
In April 2012, Pirelli breathed new life into HangarBicocca by investing in the refurbishment of the premises and in a total redesign of the related cultural initiatives in order to create a internationally renowned centre for contemporary art, one that is open – free of charge – to the city, to the community, and to the public at large. In 2013, some 280,000 visitors from both Italy and abroad visit its exhibits and participate in the various activities to promote contemporary art for all audiences.
Pirelli’s decision to invest in contemporary art and in the promotion of art to as vast an audience as possible is perfectly in line with this culture, given that contemporary art is the cultural setting that best embodies our vocation to multi-culturalism and our constant quest to bring together diverse fields of knowledge and to blend different forms of expression.
Today, Pirelli HangarBicocca is a unique cultural institution with a calendar of exhibits of the most important international artists that sets it apart for the level of research and experimentation it displays and for its keen focus on site-specific projects that take full advantage of the unique characteristics of its spaces. The activities dedicated to students, schools and universities are another essential part of the efforts of Pirelli HangarBicocca. Formats such as HB Kids, HB School and HB Tour, the guided tours, and the collections of films selected by artists make for a calendar of high-quality, free events for the public that engage people first-hand in the life of the organisation.