Museo Nazionale Dell’Automobile Torino, Italy

The Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile, founded by Carlo Biscaretti di Ruffia, is an automobile museum in Turin, northern Italy. The museum has a collection of almost 200 cars, it is the only National Museum of this kind in Italy, housed in the premises designed by the architect Amedeo Albertini, on the left bank of the Po river and a short distance from the Lingotto; it is one of the few buildings specially constructed to house a museum collection, and is also a rare example of modern architecture. The museum is situated in a building dating from 1960, and it has three floors. After restructuring in 2011 the museum is open again, and its exhibition area has been expanded from 11,000 square metres (120,000 sq ft) to 19,000 square metres (200,000 sq ft). The museum also has its own library, documentation centre, bookshop and auditorium.

The Museum has one of the rarest and most interesting collections of its kind, with almost 200 original cars dating from the mid-19th century to the present day, and over eighty different makes of vehicle, from Italy, France, Great Britain, Germany, Holland, Spain, Poland and the United States. In 2002 the Museum directors started to think about works to renew the structure and contents. Forty years had passed, and the Museum had by now become dated and obsolete, so that change was needed to make it more appealing.

The Automobile Museum was set up in 1932 based on the idea of two pioneers of Italian motoring,Cesare Goria Gatti and Roberto Biscaretti di Ruffia (the first President of the Turin Automobile Club and one of the founders of the Fiat company), and is one of the oldest Automobile Museums in the world.

It was Carlo Biscaretti di Ruffia(Roberto’s son), a Turin aristocrat born in 1879, who attached his name permanently to the National Automobile Museum, since he was the one who conceived it, gathered together the initial collection, strove to bring it into being and worked his whole life to give it decent headquarters. Carlo Biscaretti was also its first President and on his death in September 1959, the Board of Directors passed a resolution to name the Museum after him; it was then formally opened on 3 November 1960.

The winning design (which complied with the requirements as advertised, using a coherent approach that could reorganise the existing building and create new spaces to relate to the city), included the relationship between the quick visual perception from Corso Unità d’Italia and the defining of a more enclosed pedestrian area at the point where it joins Via Richelmy.

In common with many contemporary European examples, the strictly display functions will be supplemented by a set of complementary activities to make the Automobile Museum come alive at all times of day and evening, and become an element to lead the way in the urban renewal of the city’s southern quadrant.
Zucchi’s design will be enhanced with the displays by the Franco-Swiss set-designer Francois Confino.

The experience acquired by Francois Confino in other, similar projects (he designed the interior fittings for the Turin Cinema Museum), played a useful role in devising a brand-new concept that will place the Turin Museum at the cutting-edge in the field of the art of exhibiting motor cars. The guiding principle will be “the car observed as a creation of genius and of the human imagination”, to make people aware of, and appreciate the immense pool of talent, creativity, craftsmanship and entrepreneurial abilities that exist in Turin and in Piedmont.

In the new Museum, we will tell the story of the motor car, its transformation from a means of transport to an object of worship, from its origins right up to the contemporary evolution of creative thought. Through the evolution of the car, we will narrate the epoch-making times that society has experienced.

The seat that rises on the left bank of the Po, not far from Lingotto, since 1960 houses the Turin Museum of Art and is one of the few buildings built specifically to host the collection of a museum and is also a special example of modern architecture. Project is the work of architect Amedeo Albertini, author, in Turin, also of the SAI building, the Lavazza plant, and the RIV offices; The concrete structures were calculated by the engineer Ivailo Ludogoroff. Two factors were taken into account for the start of the project: the panoramic position facing the Po River and the hill, and the particular character of the material to be exhibited that did not fit A rich and delimited environment that already evoked the concept of large spaces The building, in its original 1960s project, is characterized by an impressive stone – facade, convex shaped facade developed in length, Illusion of being suspended on an underlying glazing; In fact, the facade is straightened by a large iron beam of 60 tons weight and leans on four large stainless steel and concrete pillars. All of the building had been built over an artificial hill and consisted of a large main volume as the facade But which tended to shrink as it went toward the inside of the hill From this building, two suspended side modules were connected to a second building that had about the same volumetry of the first and thus created a winter garden in the inner courtyard of the Al museum Second block then left a third volume, with very industrial features, skylights on the roof and brick, which slid the building’s plant creating a small “tail”. One of the most original features is the solution of Sustenance of the connecting sleeves, between the main and the transverse ones, which come with an orin “V” geometry

In 2011, the museum venue was reopened after a thorough renovation covering almost all parts of the original building, keeping them intact but heavily revisited inside. A new building was added to the original building, the hill level was lowered and it came Then modify the access to the building for those coming from the street. Added basement space to accommodate the cars of the collection not shown in the real museum and the restoration school. The inner courtyard is transformed into a large hall enclosed by a Cover designed to maximize sunlight The style of the intervention is due to high-tech architecture both in the exterior and interior All the bodies of the new building are covered, on one side only, by a side ribbon Detached from the bodies themselves The facade, although received modernization, remained unchanged, as well as the “queue” Existing buildings have in no way undergone architectural changes, even the characteristic main internal staircase has remained unchanged, although in the new project the acceptance is located behind the large interior lobby from which escalators leave, causing the path of Shows beginning from the second floor The restructuring operation cost 33 million euros (23 of which were funded by the City of Turin in November 2011 entering between the members), 2/3 of which were spent for the renovation of the building and 1/3 for interior fittings Reconstruction of the museum has almost double the useful space for the exhibitions: from the 11,000 square meters of the previous structure to more than 19,000 m² of the current one. The call for renovation of the building was won by ‘Architect Cino Zucchi of Milan, Recchi Engineering in Turin and Proger of Rome, with a total of 38 candidates The project of exhibitions The museum was designed by the Franco-Swiss designer, François Confino, with the collaboration of LLTT Studio Cravetto-Pagella Architetti Associati, the architect Carlo Fucini and the Canadian Light Designer François Roupinian

The exhibition of the museum was revised and restored to the public in 2011 The cars are arranged in more than 30 rooms constructed with scenery and installations where the cars are contextualized Although the museum’s permanent collection includes More than 200 cars, of which about 160 are displayed; The others are kept in the so-called Garage located in the basement of the new building (together with the Restoration School) and can be visited on an explicit request. In addition to the cars in the permanent collection, the museum also has a temporary exhibition where he presents concept cars, models or concepts on Mobility Exposure exposes cars produced between 1769 and 1996 (excluding concept and cars in temporary exhibition) Exposed models are original and belong to 80 automakers

The documentation center (which is dedicated to the 800 m² area designed by the LLTT Studio) collects inside documents relating to the car. The center is also divided into sections reflecting the thematic subdivision of the library: factory history, biographies , History of races, history of technique, various, industrial vehicles, Italian and foreign coaches, car salons, car museums The library collects about 7000 texts It is divided into seven sections (history of locomotion, brand history, racing , Technique, biographies, circulation and traffic, economy and various) Inside the documentation center there is also a hermit library

The museum’s permanent collection includes about 200 cars, plus some chassis and about twenty engines. The cars are about 80 different brands (many of them missing) representing ten countries (Italy, Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands , France, Poland, Spain, Russia and United States of America)

Among the various cars there are also racing cars and formula one cars such as the Ferrari F310 of Michael Schumacher in 1996, the Alfa Romeo 179B or the 155 V6 TI, famous for having dominated the DTM since its first year of participation

In the basement, created together with the new building thanks to the restoration of 2011, there is an area of ​​about 2000 m², the so-called Garage, where the unpatched museum’s heritage is preserved. These cars are not part of the Museum’s permanent collection for Logistic reasons The cars of this section are rotated over the years. In this room the basement also houses the Restoration School where the cars are being restored and then exposed