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. following the death of jan kaplicky in 2009, the office of future systems was dissolved. andrea morgante, former associate director of future systems and now director of Shiro studio was appointed to oversee the museum’s completion. the new building has been constructed according to kaplický’s original design. it is sensitive to the existing historical context, combining the latest in construction and energy saving technology, while resonating in visual language and materials with the cars it is intended to showcase. the fully restored house and workshop provide additional exhibition space designed by Morgante.
Kaplický wanted to create a 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 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 taking into consideration the aesthetic values of car design. With its 3,300 square metres of double-curved aluminium, the roof is the first application of the material where it is applied in such a large scale. 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 company’s insignia where it forms the backdrop to the prancing horse. it is also the official colour of Modena.
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. stretched semi-transparent 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 the same modena yellow as the. 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 found along the circulation path. Up to twenty-one cars can be displayed in this open space at any one time.