A former ice factory in Milan is now being turned into a new centre for contemporary art, set to open on April 7, 2016 during the modern and contemporary art fair Miart. Named FM Centre for Contemporary Art, it will be a multifunctional space with an exhibition space for private art collections, a temporary space for contemporary art galleries, a selection of artists' estates, and an open art depot—a format that is more and more popular in the art world and is now being activated by museums such as the Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam and by a number of museums in New York. Initiated by Open Care, a company that since 2003 offers private and public art collections services of art storage, art restoration and art advisory, the new centre aims to contain all the functions related to the valorisation of art collections and artists' estates in just one place.

The location of the new centre is a historical former industrial complex from 1899 called Frigoriferi Milanesi (Milanese refrigerators) that used to be the ice factory and food storage of the city of Milan and was one of the largest refrigerated storage buildings in Europe. When the economic boom of the 1960s brought white goods to the houses of the Milanese city-dwellers, it was turned into a storage for fur coats, carpets, and valuables, until the beginning of the new millennium, when it was converted into a storage place for art.

Next to it is the so-called Palazzo del Ghiaccio (Ice Palace), built in 1923 and well-known to generations of Milanese people as the former ice-skating hall of the city. An Art Nouveau building in iron, glass, and wood, it was designed by engineers Sandro Carnelli, Carlo Banfi e Ettore Redaelli and represented at that time the biggest indoor structure of this kind in Europe and an innovative and successful encounter of architectural virtuosity and engineering precision.

The artistic direction of the new centre has been entrusted to Marco Scotini, curator and director of the Visual Arts Department of NABA Academy. He will be supported by a remarkable board of international experts that includes Vasif Kortun (Director of SALT, Istanbul), Grazia Quaroni (Senior Curator / Head of Collections of Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris), Charles Esche (Director of Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven), Hou Hanru (Artistic Director of MAXXI, Rome), and Enea Righi (art collector based in Bologna).

The centre will open with the exhibition L'Inarchiviabile (through June 15, 2016), meaning The Unarchivable —an interesting choice for a place which is known for being an art storage and archives. It will bring to the public more than 200 works by 60 artists from the most important Italian private collections, and will focus on the Italian artistic scene of the 1970s, a decade which is now coming into the spotlight after the huge success on the international art market of the previous decades, the 1950s and 1960s. The aim of the curators Marco Scotini and Lorenzo Paini is to underline the 'excessive' aspect of the 1970s, in which art expanded the borders of aesthetics to include artistic expressions such as radical architecture, visual poetry, music, performance, and activism.