The impressive span of the Ferrari Museum’s roof shelters a single basilicalike room with a few subordinate pods. Like the crystalline façade, all of the elements, such as the enclosure for the bar and giftshop, and that for the toilets, follow aerodynamic curves. The room slopes 5 meters (16.4 feet) from front to rear, allowing the visitor to descend a gently sloping floor that continues to a lower level within a tear-shaped cut through the ground-level floor. A small theater and a conference hall occupy the areas on this basement level directly beneath the entrance. The constant slope helps to offset the podia for the 19 automobiles on display (the exhibition will be changed periodically with loans from private collections). Each car has been set on a rectangular plate balanced on a half-meter-high drum so that they do not appear to be parked but indeed resemble sculptures.
Aside from the passive thermal advantage of sinking the building into the ground, the Ferrari Museum became the first in Italy to exploit geothermal energy for heating and cooling, with 24 wells drilled 130 meters (426.5 feet) into the earth. A cylindrical structure that houses the technical equipment is set in the parking lot and carries solar panels for hot water. The institution also uses off-site photovoltaics as an additional alternative energy source and in all has reduced its energy costs by 50 percent over a comparably sized building with conventional systems.
Andrea Morgante, who faithfully completed Kaplický’s design of the new building according to the latter’s drawings, took personal responsibility for the display area in the historic buildings. Here, he inserted majestic X-shaped steel braces on slender spider-leg poles beneath the timber beams of the shed for seismic protection (recently put to the test with the region’s earthquakes in early May). He divided the long room with a narrow technical chamber for multi-image projectors and hung off of it dozens of differently curved flanges, supposedly suggesting the pages of the biography of Enzo Ferrari, although they seem more like the rhythmic legs of a giant centipede. While consistent with the organic impulses of his precursor, these forms seem more for effect than as the integral effects of technology. The carefully crafted new museum, like Ferrari’s products, enhances the reputation of Modena, its famous carmaker, and the designers, occupying a class of its own.
Location Modena, Italy
Client Fondazione Casa Natale Enzo Ferrari
Architect Future Systems—Jan Kaplický
Project Architect Shiro Studio, London—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, Filippo Previtali, Daria Trovato (Preliminary, Detailed, Construction, 2005–2007)
Art Direction Andrea Morgante (2009–2012)
Exhibition Design Jan Kaplický, Andrea Morgante (gallery); Andrea Morgante (Enzo Ferrari House)
Structural/Environmental Services Arup (competition)
Project Management and Site Supervision Politecnica—Francesca Federzoni (disciplines integration); Fabio Camorani (structures and site supervision); Francesco Frassineti (electrical); Paolo Muratori (building site supervision); Stefano Simonini (health and safety)
Structural/Mechanical/Electrical Design, Environmental Impact Assessement, Health & Safety Politecnica (preliminary, detailed, and construction stages)
Quantity Surveying Politecnica (design and construction)
Contractor Società Consortile Enzo; CCC soc. coop. (Leader), Ing. Ferrari, ITE Group, CSM.; Giuseppe Coppi (technical director, CdC—Modena)
Size 5,200 square meters (55,972 gross square feet)
Contract Value €14.2 million ($17.6 million)