MEF Museo e casa natale Enzo Ferrari - Modena | image courtesy Politecnica ©Gabriele Melloni - Studio Cento29

MEF – Museo e Casa Natale Enzo Ferrari

Modena (IT)

© Author: Arch. Francesco De Fazio

Progetto RistrutturABILMENTE

The exploitation of the cultural heritage

The new museum dedicated to the legendary Enzo Ferrari in Modena (Italy) is divided in two different spaces: the “Casa Natale” (the birthplace) – a building from the beginning of the Nineteenth century where Mr. Ferrari was born in 1898 – and the new gallery near the birthplace.

The project of Politecnica Ingegneria ed Architettura, partnering with the design studio Future System, aimed to reclaim and reuse the old factory – site of Enzo Ferrari’s birthplace – by emptying and deep cleaning it from all the superfetations of the previous years. Close to the Casa Natale stands a new building for exhibitions and educational and cultural activities. The shape of this building surrounds the Casa Natale as an open hand but without looming over.

In 2012 the construction process was over, and the project achieved the goal of exploiting an extremely significant element of the cultural and historical heritage of Modena – represented by Enzo Ferrari and the culture of cars and motors.

The restoration of the Casa Natale di Enzo Ferrari

The two floors of the Casa Natale and the annex factory were built from 1830 by Alfredo Ferrari, Enzo’s father.

During the Construction Management phase – led by Politecnica – all the superfetations have been removed, introducing two metal structures as the only added element to reinforce the structure according to the last anti-seismic regulations.

The space for exhibitions has indeed an innovative system that can blend the lighting, digital projections and display cases that contain Enzo Ferrari’s objects.

The setting-up is like a curvy wall divided into vertical spaces, so that visitors can gradually discover each part of the exhibition without catching sight of the next one.

At the end of the visit there is the original Ferrari’s house. The setting-up also covers the ground floor, whereas on the first floor there are the offices of the “Fondazione Casa Natale Enzo Ferrari”.

The new Gallery – the relationship between old and new

The yellow sculptured roof intentionally has ten openings that look like hood scoops of a car to celebrate the aesthetic value of the automotive design of Modena. The roof of the Enzo Ferrari Museumhas 3,300 square meters of double curved aluminum slats – a worldwide architectural record – that was initially developed with a highly specialized shipyard and then the construction management was able to get a license for the assemblage on site of the extrusions. This is just another proof of the fantastic work of the construction management team created on specific demands.

The view from inside the Hall through the glass facade frames the Casa Natale spectacularly. The double curved glass facade – with an inclination of 12,5 degrees – was an important theme of focus during the Construction Management. The steel wire ropes that can support 40 tons of electricity each, also support the double-glazing slabs. The goal of the facade system was the full visual transparency and functionality. The Gallery has curves outlined by the facade even on the drawing and it fully surrounds the Casa Natale in a respectful gesture of cultural symbiosis.

The view from the Gallery lets people see the entire exhibition – a huge white space, where the walls and the floor look alike to give a sense of homogeneity.
A white translucent membrane above lets the light shine right through it in a uniform way, while the joints in the framework make the air circulation possible and give a sense of aesthetic projected into the historic sports car.
The floor reveals a series of curved ramps that support the visitor from the ground floor to the first floor. The cars are displayed alongside the ramps, standing 40 cm above the ground because of the special platforms that symbolically elevate the cars as art pieces.

Museum and Casa Enzo Ferrari: an iconic and exemplary building intervention

The staff of the Construction Management faced many problems of both large and small scale.

Therefore, the intervention was complicated and exemplary. On the one hand, the new building complex is a steel structure that had a great management regarding the particular shape of the roof, the position and the customization of the elements.

On the other hand, the intervention on the existing building faced the difficulty of restoration and reclamation to enhance what was already there.

All the work ended with very positive results because of the construction management principles and the organization of the construction site.

The contribution of FRarchitettura

The contribution of Antonio Russo’s company FRarchitettura was essential on this project too, supporting Politecnica during the development process, especially for the structural glazing.

Last news from MEF

In the last years there has been another renovation of the new structure of MEF.

The company Ferrari asked indeed for a separation wall between the hall and the gallery. The result has been a dark surface that enhances the experience of the museum through the projection of videos and pictures on the wall on the side of the gallery.

Project info and credits:

Description of the construction process:
restoration and reclamation of the Casa Natale Enzo Ferrari and construction of the new Exhibition Gallery-Museum Enzo Ferrari in Modena.

Fondazione Casa Natale Enzo Ferrari, municipality of Modena

Construction period:
2006 – 2012

Project and Construction Management:
Politecnica Ingegneria e Architettura, Future System (architectural concept)

Participation of Politecnica:
General coordination of the project; preliminary, definitive and executive plan; coordination of Safety and Construction Management.

Politecnica ©Gabriele Melloni, Studio Cento29