Maserati Showroom HQ
Modena / Italy / 2002-2003
Flagship showroom at Maserati HQ
Client: Maserati (Ferrari Spa)
Net Area: 760 m2
The name Maserati for us represents two complementary things: a glorious heritage (a fantastic past) and cutting edge technology (a better future). When we were appointed to design the new flagship showroom for Maserati, we saw our task as dealing with both these notions: appropriately displaying some of this heritage, while at the same time creating a dynamic, racy, set-piece for current and future production cars. Maserati have a fantastic production line, a short walking distance from the showroom, which is more spectacular than any stage set we could come up with, and it’s real.
This is perhaps what drove us to conjure an acrobatic loop-like object that is in itself a product of cutting edge technology: The origination of the morphology and structure of the loop was developed using advanced computer modeling software, and was implemented by composites specialists whose project experience includes aerospace, hydro-nautical and motor-racing applications. The intricate skeleton of the loop is made of hundreds of components created via computer numeric control (CNC) guided cutting machines, leaving no room for loss of precision.
We also had to accommodate the more ‘normal’ car showroom functions, such as personalization features, conference area, and reception, to name a few. The upper sweep of the loop structure serves also as a canopy overhanging an ad hoc conference area, which can be stacked away at other times to allow additional car display. In the personalization area, we used car body color samples and leather swatches in a way which celebrates the rich variety offered by Maserati, as well as creates a unique feature for the showroom on its own right. This is manifested via a decorative wall that accommodated 198 doughnut-like samples, whose magnitude is reflected and expanded infinitely by the four mirrors that surround them. There is also a ritualized way out of the showroom through a curved car port that opens mechanically as you drive a new car out, the ramp becoming a road hump almost as a way of saying “good luck and bye bye” to a new driver...
The Maserati logo is celebrated in a number of ways throughout the showroom, whether as embossed patterns on the leather samples, or as a backlit entrance sign. It also acts as a road mark at the showroom entrance – each tip of the floor inset logo’s trident pointing to alternative directions within the showroom as part of a mock roadmap.