Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari Modena, Jan Kaplický Building, Italy, Shiro Studio Designs

Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari, Italy : Modena Building

Museum in Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy design by Jan Kaplický, Future Systems Architects

post updated 10 Apr 2021

RIBA Awards 2013 : RIBA National Award Winner – 13 Jun 2013

New photos, 14 Jun 2013:

Aerial view:
Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari Modena Museum aerial photo
photograph © Studio cento29

Ferrari Museum in Modena Ferrari Museum Ferrari Museum Building
photographs © Studio cento29

20 + 14 Mar 2012

Enzo Ferrari Museum

Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari, Modena, Italy

The Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena was designed by Jan Kaplický at Future Systems.

Following the death of Jan Kaplický in 2009, Andrea Morgante, formerly of Future Systems, has seen the project through to completion.

Project Description – Enzo Ferrari Museum, Modena, Italy

Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena Building Italy
photograph © Andrea Morgante

In 2004 Future Systems won an international competition to design a new museum in Modena, Italy. 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.

Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena Building Italy
photograph © Andrea Morgante

Following the death of Jan Kaplicky 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 new building has been constructed to Kaplický’s original design– it is sensitive to the existing historical context, combines the latest in construction and energy saving technology, and resonates in spirit, language and materials with the cars it is intended to showcase. The fully restored house and workshop provide additional exhibition space designed by Morgante.

Enzo Ferrari Museum – New Exhibition Building

Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena Building Italy Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena Building Italy Ferrari Museum Italy Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena Building Italy
photographs © Studio cento29

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, and both celebrates and expresses the aesthetic values of car design. With its 3,300 square metres of double-curved aluminium, the roof is the first application of aluminium 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 aluminium sheets fitted together using a patented tongue and groove system. The bright Modena yellow of the roof is Ferrari’s corporate colour, as seen on the Ferrari insignia where it forms the backdrop to the prancing horse. It is also the official colour of Modena.

Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena Building Italy Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena Building Italy Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena Building Italy Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena Building Italy
photographs © Andrea Morgante

Kaplický wanted to create a sensitive dialogue between the two exhibition buildings that showed consideration for Ferrari’s early home and underscored the importance of the museum as a unified complex made up of several elements. The views out of the new exhibition building dramatically frame the house and workshop, while views from outside the house and workshop immediately reveal the function and content of the new exhibition building.

The height of the new exhibition building reaches a maximum of 12 metres – 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.

Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena Building Italy Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena Building Italy Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena Building Italy
photographs © Andrea Morgante

The glass façade 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 tonnes of pressure. The technical specification of these panes and cables means that greater transparency in the façade is achieved with maximum functionality. In the summer months a thermo-sensor activates the windows in the façade 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.

Enzo Ferrari Museum Modena Building
photograph © 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. A bookshop and café are situated to one side of the entrance and facilities to the other. Both are painted the same Modena yellow as the roof and take the form of blister-like pods.

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 centimetres 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.

Supplementary exhibition material is displayed in leather cases located along the perimeter wall. At the bottom of the ramp and directly below the entrance, an audiovisual room forms a permanent part of the exhibition. A flexible teaching space and a conference room with a carved out opening allowing views up into the entrance area are located next to it.

Enzo Ferrari Museum Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena Enzo Ferrari Museum Italy Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena Building Italy Enzo Ferrari Museum Building
photographs © Shiro Studio

Enzo Ferrari Museum – Restored House and Workshop

The two-storey 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.

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 metre long space and soft, low-level backlighting gently illuminates both it and the room, making the space intimate in spite of its size. At the northern end of the main gallery, in the original house, two smaller exhibition spaces are located next to one another. Administrative spaces are situated directly adjacent to them and on the first floor.

The official opening of the Enzo Ferrari Museum was on March 10th 2012 and the foundation stone designed by Kaplický was unveiled on the same day.

Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena Building Italy
photograph © David Pasek

Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari Modena – Building Information

Client: Fondazione Casa Natale Enzo Ferrari
Location: Via Paolo Ferrari 85, Modena, Italy
Concept design: 2004
Completion date: 2012
Site area: 10,600 m²
Gross floor area: 5,200 m²
Contract value: €14.200.000
Architect: Jan Kaplický (Future Systems)
Project Architect: Andrea Morgante
Competition team: Jan Kaplický, Andrea Morgante, Liz Middleton, Federico Celoni
Project team (Preliminary, Detailed, Construction) (2005-2007): Andrea Morgante, Søren Aagaard, Oriana Cremella, Chris Geneste, Cristina Greco, Clancy Meyers, Liz Middleton, Itai Palti, Maria Persichella, Filippo Previtali, Daria Trovato
Art Direction (2009-12): Andrea Morgante (Shiro Studio)
Gallery Exhibition design: Jan Kaplický (Future Systems), Andrea Morgante (Shiro Studio)
Enzo Ferrari House Exhibition design: Andrea Morgante (Shiro Studio)

Project Management and Site Supervision: Politecnica- Modena
Structural, Mechanical & Electrical Design, Environmental Impact Assessement, Health & Safety (Preliminary, Detailed & construction stages): Politecnica
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)

Film on YouTube

Andrea Morgante works at Shiro Studio, based in London, UK.

Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena images / information from Andrea Morgante, Shiro Studio

Location: Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari, Modena, Italy, southern Europe

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