CASA 500 CELEBRATES THE ITALIAN ICON

rome-based LAB71 architetti has completed the new fiat 500 museum in turin, italy. dubbed casa 500, the exhibition space set inside the pinacoteca agnelli extends over 700 sqm, showcasing the history of the fiat 500 and its bond with italian history and culture. 

universally linked to italy, the cinquecento was designed by dante giacosa in 1957 and quickly became a car for the masses — fun, stylish and accessible to all. casa 500 celebrates this italian icon by showcasing its history, sporting background and social relevance through the metamorphosis of its three generations.

LAB71 architetti completes casa 500, a new fiat 500 museum in turin

LAB71 ARCHITETTI WANTED A SUSTAINABLE SPACE FOR FIAT’S CASA 500

built under the reuse, reduce & recycle mantra, casa 500 by LAB71 architetti repurposed both wood and metal into the interior space. the fabrics that upholster the seating objects are made from recycled plastic recovered from the oceans, and plexiglass — a material that can be recycled over and over again — is used throughout.

‘we want to recount the possibility of a new ecological sensitivity in design as well, where the forms of nature and reclaimed materials are blended to give life to new spaces, a new environment where natural and artificial are finally amalgamated into an unexpected equilibrium,’ said massimiliano gotti porcinari, lead architect at LAB71 architetti.

LAB71 architetti completes casa 500, a new fiat 500 museum in turin

casa 500 respects the internal space defined by giacomo matté-trucco’s original design and the later intervention by renzo piano, keeping the central space as empty as possible. this design decision provides visitors with an open plan, allowing them to define their own personal itinerary based on their own relationship with the fiat 500.

LAB71 architetti completes casa 500, a new fiat 500 museum in turin

a majestic installation stands in the center, shaped as a full-height tree. made of reclaimed wood, the exhibition flows around it. under it, a wooden master (mascherone) for sheet metal of a historic fiat 500 model sits next to the nuova 500 (new 500). while the mascherone’s wood fuses with the installation to represent solid roots, the nuova 500 presents itself as a new beginning. thus, the tree represents what the fiat 500 is: solid roots with branches that extend into the future.

LAB71 architetti completes casa 500, a new fiat 500 museum in turin

beneath the tree branches, two large sofas in different shades of grey, which are rectangular and can be broken apart, invite visitors to lie back freely as if on a meadow, to be inspired by the world of the fiat 500 and give shape, even if only in their thoughts, to their own aspirations.