Today, Feel Desain had the pleasure of visiting the Museo dell’automobile in Torino, Italy. We had such a great time: the architecture of the building is spectacular. The exhibition displays the entire history of the automobile – from steam run carriages to flashy formula one racing cars. The curation is engaging, stylish and informative. If you ever visit Torino, be sure to visit this Museum.
The Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile di Torino re-opens after a four-year restoration and extension,
featuring a new name. The overall investment amounts to 33 million Euros, of which 22 million has been
allocated to the building’s restoration and 11 million to the internal exhibition design.
The Museum has got a face-lift, and above all it has changed its character and aim: not only a mere
architectural renovation, but an intervention aimed at placing this revamped museum in a dynamic
and sensational way, into the Italian cultural landscape. Its contemporary and futuristic look was
created and designed by architect Cino Zucchi, and the innovative exhibition space bears the signature of
Francois Confino, set designer, who has already fitted out the National Cinema Museum in Torino.
2011 is going to be a significant year for Torino and for Italy as well: 150 years ago in the capital city of
Piedmont, the new born Italian state identified its first capital, and there it remained until 1865. 51
years ago Torino’s Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile was created, and today its opening will transform
it into a museum for everybody, dedicated to car lovers but also to young people and children. It is an
exhibition that tells the whole story of the car: from manufacturing, to its use as a means of mass
transportation, till becoming the symbol of one of the most important national traditions. Torino is
recognised as the Italian capital of automobiles: from its industry to design, from design to engineering,
from research centres to production. Automobiles are not only seen as a phenomenon based on production,
but also as a cultural and social mark, enhanced and expressed by the new look of the Museum.
The Museum, offers visitors one of the rarest and most interesting collections of this kind ever
exhibited: almost 200 original automobiles produced by 80 different brands, ranging between 1769 and
1996. In over 19,000 square metres of exhibition area, the museum explores the history of automobiles
and also the events of culture and society by taking you on a journey made up of language and heritage
that has never been seen before.
Besides the museum exhibition, an event’s area has been designed, along with a conference centre, a
library and documentation centre (archive), a bookshop, a cafeteria and a restaurant. Giuseppe Alberto
Zunino is the President of the Museum, Fiorenzo Alfieri is its Vice President and Rodolfo Gaffino Rossi,
is its Director «New leading special installations have been set, where cars shall be considered as
extraordinary items, “re-created” by the imagination of the car owners. Added to that, a stage and sound
design together with a series of special effects turn this exhibition into an emotional and interactive
experience. The cars of the collection will be “put on stage” and will mirror the great cultural and social
events of the period» Gaffino Rossi states.
«The so called “automobile” phenomenon appears as one of the most significant symbols of our civilization–
the set designer François Confino explained. Cars embody culture, in the very anthropologic sense of the
term. The Museum does not only exhibit cars, but also it tells visitors the “legend” of car. This is a story in
which real characters and situations stand next to the creations of the exhibition designer. Reality and fiction
combine together to make visitors concentrate on issues and conflicting problems connected to the use of
automobiles, such as passion and excess, glamour and danger, bad effects on the environment and the
positive, virtuous effects of mobility; a combination between technology and art».