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Ferrari Headquarters, Maranello, Italy

Thursday 04 Dec 2008

Ferrari as curator

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Ferrari’s collection of high style buildings 

Let’s face it. If you are fortunate enough to own a Ferrari you have to have a proper house for it. So agrees Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, president of Ferrari, who has made it his mission to house the entire operations of Ferrari- from showroom to production space- in buildings designed by star architects. Ferrari like other luxury good makers has discovered that signature buildings can reaffirm a brand’s identity and enhance its image worldwide.

With buildings designed by Piano, Visconti, Fuksas and Nouvel, Ferrari’s campus is a veritable museum of architecture. The first of the buildings to be rolled out was Piano’s wind tunnel with its signature grey tubular design, where cars get tested for aerodynamics. Next to Piano’s building is Marco Visconti’s finishing plant constructed of glass blocks over greenery. Farther down the Viale Enzo Ferrari, is located a new assembly hall designed by Jean Nouvel clad in metal and mirrored glass. Massimiliano Fuksas designed the glass and steel administration building built over reflecting pools.

Ferrari’s latest venture is to extend its brand to Dubai, where it is building a Formula One racetrack and theme park on Yas Island, which are expected to open in 2009. For its Formula One operations, Ferrari has tapped French architect, Jean-Michel Wilmotte to design the management offices.

Ferrari’s building programme has been ten years in the making. Armando Branchini, whose firm advises Ferrari on branding strategies, told the New York Times that Ferrari’s architectural projects are meant “to convince people of the fact of their being innovative”. While the buildings do protect its brand, Ferrari is quick to point out that beyond their obvious beauty they are energy efficient, extremely functional and help raise the moral of its workforce.

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