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As special as the man

A new cult destination pays homage to the great car builder from Modena, Enzo Ferrari.


The Enzo Ferrari House Museum in Modena was designed by Jan Kaplický of London-based Future Systems. Dedicated 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 a separate, newly-constructed exhibition building. Kaplický, who died before finishing the project, wanted to create a dialogue between the two exhibition buildings that shows consideration for Ferrari’s early home and underscores the importance of the museum as a unified complex made up of several elements.

The sculpted yellow aluminium 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, while presenting the aesthetic values of car design.
With its 3,300 square metres of double-curved aluminium, the roof is the largest aluminium application of its kind. 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 aluminium sheets fitted together using a patented tongue and groove system.

Visitors entering the new building have uninterrupted views into the entire exhibition space: a large, open, white room, partially covered in PVC, where the walls and floor transition lightly into one and other, and are perceived as a single surface. A stretched semi-transparent PVC membrane spreads light evenly across the roof, recalling the language of a car interior. A bookshop and café are situated to one side of the entrance and facilities to the other, each painted in the same Modena yellow of the Ferrari logo shield. A gently sloping ramp gradually leads the visitor around the building from the ground floor to the basement level.

The Enzo Ferrari House Museum in Modena was opened on 10th March 2012.

Project: Enzo Ferrari House Museum
Location: Modena, Italy 
Architect: Future Systems, UK    

Technical info: Barrisol PVC membrane
Picture credits: Cento