Enzo Ferrari Museum
Future Systems

June 04, 2012 /

Modena, Italy

Photo © Studio Cento29Dedicated to motor racing legend and entrepreneur Enzo Ferrari (1898 - 1988), the museum comprises exhibition spaces within the early nineteenth century house, where the motor racing giant was born and raised and its adjoining workshop, as well as in a new exhibition building.

The sculpted yellow aluminum roof with its ten incisions - intentionally analogous to those air intake vents on the bonnet of a car - allows for natural ventilation and day lighting, and both celebrates and expresses the aesthetic values of car design.

Photo © Studio Cento29

With its 3,300 square meters of double-curved aluminum, the roof is the first application of aluminum in this way on such a large scale. Working together with boat builders, whose familiarity with organic sculpted forms and waterproofing made them the ideal partner, and cladding specialists, the form is constructed from aluminum sheets fitted together using a patented tongue and groove system. The bright Modena yellow of the roof is Ferrari's corporate color, as seen on the Ferrari insignia where it forms the backdrop to the prancing horse. It is also the official color of Modena.

Project architect Andrea Morgante on the roof of the building.  Photo courtesy Shiro Studio

Photo © Andrea Morgante

The height of the new exhibition building reaches a maximum of 12 meters - the same height as the house - with its volume expanding below ground level. In addition, the new building gently curves around the house in a symbolic gesture of appreciation.

Photo © David Pasek

Photo © David Pasek

Photo © Studio Cento29

Visitors entering the new building have uninterrupted views into the entire exhibition space: a large, open, white room, where the walls and floor transition lightly into one another and are perceived as a single surface. A stretched semi-transparent membrane spreads light evenly across the roof, and in combination with the slits running from side to side which allow air to escape and give a ribbed effect, recalls the language of a car interior.

Photo © Andrea Morgante

Photo © Andrea Morgante

A gently sloping ramp gradually leads the visitor around the building from the ground floor to the basement level, with display stands designed by Morgante punctuating the circulation path. These stands lift the cars 45 centimeters so that they can be viewed from different angles and appreciated as works of art rather than objects simply placed in a room. Up to twenty-one cars can be displayed in this open space at any one time.

Photo © Studio Cento29

Photo © Andrea Morgante

The glass facade is curved in plan and tilts at an angle of 12.5 degrees. Each pane is supported by pre-tensioned steel cables and is able to withstand 40 tons of pressure. The technical specification of these panes and cables means that greater transparency in the facade is achieved with maximum functionality. In the summer months a thermo-sensor activates the windows in the facade and roof allowing cool air to circulate. With 50% of the internal volume of the main exhibition building set below ground level, geothermal energy is used to heat and cool the building. It is the first museum building in Italy to use geothermal energy. The building also employs photovoltaic technology and water recycling systems.

Following the death of Jan Kaplický in 2009, the office of Future Systems was dissolved. Andrea Morgante, formerly of Future Systems and now director of Shiro Studio, was appointed to oversee the museum's completion.  The fully restored house and workshop provide additional exhibition space designed by Andrea Morgante.

The two-story house and workshop built by Ferrari's father in the 1830s has been completely refurbished. Later additions to the house and workshop have been removed and, with the exception of two internal bracing structures that have been inserted in accordance with Italian anti-seismic regulations to give structural rigidity, no alterations have been made. The main gallery space is located within what was the double height workshop.

Here, Morgante has designed a contemporary exhibition display system, which incorporates digital projections, objects owned by Ferrari, information panels and other material. The display system was conceived as a large-scale vertical book that allows the visitor to read the different chapters of Ferrari's life through various media; a three-dimensional immersive biography. The system takes the form of a sinuous wall separated into pages, so that as visitors progress down the room, they are obliged to gradually discover each page and chapter in sequence.

Photo © Studio Cento29

Photo © Studio Cento29

At every point the next chapter is concealed so as to maintain interest and create a sense of excitement. This organic landscape stretches through the entire length of the 40 meter long space and soft, low-level backlighting gently illuminates both it and the room, making the space intimate in spite of its size.

Drawing courtesy Andrea Morgante
Site Plan

Drawing courtesy Andrea Morgante
Plan Level One

Drawing courtesy Andrea Morgante

Model photo courtesy Andrea Morgante

Facts about Enzo Ferrari Museum

Site area:

10,600 sm2
Gross floor area: 5,200 m2

Jan Kaplický (Future Systems)

Project Architect:

Andrea Morgante

Competition team:

Jan Kaplický
Andrea Morgante
Liz Middleton
Federico Celoni

Project team:

Andrea Morgante
Søren Aagaard
Oriana Cremella
Chris Geneste
Cristina Greco
Clancy Meyers
Liz Middleton
Itai Palti
Maria Persichella
Filippo Previtali
Daria Trovato

Art Direction (2009-2012):

Andrea Morgante (Shiro Studio)

Gallery Exhibition design:

Jan Kaplický (Future Systems)
Andrea Morgante (Shiro Studio)

House Exhibition design:

Andrea Morgante (Shiro Studio)

Project Management and Site Supervision:




Main Contractor:

Società Consortile Enzo
CCC soc. coop. (Leader), Ing. Ferrari s.p.a, ITE Group s.r.l, CSM.

Technical Director:

Giuseppe Coppi (CdC - Modena)


Fondazione Casa Natale Enzo Ferrari
Ferrari Museum 

Last updated: December 19, 2013

See also

Copyright 1999 - 2017 arcspace all rights reserved.