The re-worked red brick house in Modena is no different than most other 19th century residences in the Italian motoring villa. That the unassuming space was the birthplace of Enzo Ferrari was previously only communicated to persons on the street by a simple sign reading, “Officina Meccanica Alfredo Ferrari.” But now a new contemporary gallery dedicated to Ferrari’s founder has reopened to the public and showcases some of his company's finest vintage works.
Located in Modena, Italy, the architectural juxtaposition between Enzo’s original 1898 brick residence and the new stylized yellow “bonnet” of the Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari purposefully communicates and celebrates the manufacturer’s history. Borrowing design cues from its 1950’s racing machines like the Ferrari 125, the gallery’s arcing yellow aluminum roof features faux cooling vents as a nod to the maker’s old school racecars.
Closed for renovations from From 29 January to 17 February 2014, the new 6,000 m2 (64,500 sq ft) Museo Enzo Ferrari was designed by architects Jan Kaplický and Andrea Morgante to complement the existing brick space without overpowering it. According to the architects, the Ferrari yellow structure is intended to embrace the original site like an open hand, while retaining similar elevations. The horizontal design elements on the glass facade are also reminiscent of a vintage Ferrari’s grille slats.
The new space, which focuses primarily on the marques celebrated past, is part of a branding exercise to complement Ferrari’s other museum in Maranello, whose mandate is to focus on current day machines and future concepts – although both museums seem to break the rules by sharing models from all eras.
The Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari, unlike its brick counterpart, has been built using current day technologies and climatic architectural principles. Geothermal technologies provide radiant heating and cooling to the exhibition space, while solar panels supplement the site’s hot water needs. Photovoltaic panels installed in sound barriers near railway lines help illuminate select spaces hidden from natural light. And unlike Spain's planned Ferrari themepark, the Modena space has used sustainable design methods extensively throughout.
Inside the gallery space, classic Ferrari’s like the Testarossa, Dino, 410S and 166 MM Barchetta float effortlessly on specially designed platforms, while newer models like the Enzo and F40 sit nearby. The space also functions as a multimedia room where audio and video clips, and unpublished Ferrari films and photographs are displayed next to select Enzo memorabilia and mementos.
In addition to the collection of priceless red automobiles, the exhibition container also houses a documentation and educational center, a conference room, bookshop, cafeteria and can be booked for conferences or special events. The Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari is located in Modena, Italy and open most days of the year.