Passion

<em>Photo: Fabrizio Giraldi</em>

Drawing Inspiration

Ferrari's new Centro Stile is where the dream cars of tomorrow are being designed today
Words

Gordon Sorlini

Passion, imagination, desire... all these elements inspire Ferrari designers when drawing the world’s most beautiful dream machines. Their task has now been made easier, with the opening of the new ‘Centro Stile’ at Maranello. Inaugurated last September, the new design centre is where the Ferrari cars of tomorrow take shape today. Located on Viale Enzo Ferrari, at the heart of the Ferrari factory, it brings under one – spectacular – roof all Maranello’s design-related activities. Now, the 100-plus designers and automotive engineers – as well as the chassis model workshop, Tailor Made area, and Ateliers – are all together.

The Design Centre's bright terrace is the perfect place to view new models in natural light <em>Photo: Fabrizio Giraldi</em>
The Design Centre's bright terrace is the perfect place to view new models in natural light Photo: Fabrizio Giraldi

The eye-catching building, opposite the Ferrari company canteen, (itself an architectural jewel designed by Marco Visconti), amounts to an avant-garde, four-storey, 5,000 square-metre ‘compact sculpture’. The whole structure is enclosed by a ‘double skin’ mesh whose outer façade consists of over 3,000 triangle-shaped glass and aluminium modules. A giant prancing horse logo decorates the building’s exterior.

Under the direction of the Ferrari Design team – driven by Head of Design, Flavio Manzoni – the architectural project was designed by Design International of London, led by Davide Padoa, in co-operation with Planning engineering studio of Bologna. The structure’s exterior – evoking the dynamic lines of Ferrari sports cars – is an eye-catching combination of concave and convex surfaces.

A 'Piloti Ferrari' 488 Pista, in the new <em>Centro Stile</em> entrance hall, greets visitors and workers alike <em>Photo: Fabrizio Giraldi</em>
A 'Piloti Ferrari' 488 Pista, in the new Centro Stile entrance hall, greets visitors and workers alike Photo: Fabrizio Giraldi

The geometric outer mesh, alternating between glass and stretched anodised aluminium, lends the whole structure a floating feel. The building makes as much use as possible of natural lighting: from the open-space layout of the first floor – where designers and virtual modellers collaborate - to the large conference room on the second floor, which features a full-wall LED. The second floor has a terrace where full-scale models of future cars can be viewed. Secrecy is a necessity, of course, so here is where the building’s outer ‘skin’ comes into play, acting as a shield that lets in light but keeps out prying eyes.

Particular attention has been given to the Modelleria, where full-scale models are shaped by digitally-controlled milling machines, operated by a team of expert artisans, before undergoing meticulous hand finishing. The Tailor Made and the Atelier permit clients access to a wide range of customisation options. The colour palette offers no less than 20 different hues for the vehicle body alone. In the Ateliers, clients can also choose the style and tints of the wheel rims and brake callipers, accompanying them – for example – with carbon-fibre bodywork features.

A Ferrari Monza SP1in the new Tailor Made area, where clients can customise their cars<em>Photo: Fabrizio Giraldi</em>
A Ferrari Monza SP1in the new Tailor Made area, where clients can customise their carsPhoto: Fabrizio Giraldi

‘Personal Designers’ guide clients in choosing from various combinations of materials – the finest fabrics, leathers, and woods. All this renders each individual car truly unique. After interpreting a client’s desires, the Personal Designer shows him or her real-time, virtual previews of the finished vehicle. The Tailor Made area also offers a space dedicated to the colour and trim of the seats, where clients can select and match materials: from luxurious cashmere to trendy denim as well as high-tech, innovative carbon fibre.

With all these personalisation possibilities, clients can obtain a level of exclusivity that is absolutely unprecedented in the automotive sector. And all now much easier – and more pleasant – in the confines of the new Centro Stile, where both Ferrari designers and clients can experience the full passion of the Prancing Horse.

Ferrari