Enzo Ferrari was what the modern world has come to call a self-made man. By the time Enzo had witnessed his first ever motorsport event he was sure of what he wanted to do in life.
From racing cars to springing up a hugely successful team to manufacturing some of the most exciting sports cars the world has ever seen, 'Ferrari' has come a long way.
Doesn't matter whether you're tifosi or not, the Ferrari name is one not to be missed and this is their contribution to the world. Others have raced, won and become highly successful in motorsports, yet, there's an aura about Ferrari that just keeps everyone hooked on. The fans even have a name - Tifosi - which is what a certain kind of ailment is termed as in Italy in which the diseased starts turning red.
Bringing the immense history of the marque in both its racing as well as road-going pedigrees to the masses is a portal that makes the link between man and (auto) maker closer than ever and it's called the Galleria Ferrari.
Housed within the twostoreyed structure which is almost two decades old now is a barrage of Ferrari's history - Formula 1 cars driven by the greatest of the great drivers, road-going models, trophies earned, critical parts from cars, breakthrough technology and even paintings and art work.
The building that Ferrari took over in 1995 was originally built in 1988. Most exhibits in the Galleria Ferrari keep changing, but the first ever Ferrari to win the Rome Grand Prix - a 1947 125 S holds permanent position. Enzo Ferrari's office in Modena has been moved to the Galleria Ferrari as well to show the world a glimpse of what the great man was like. While the Galleria is open to visitors, there's another part of Ferrari that only a privileged few get to see - the insides of the factory in Maranello
In 1998, under the leadership of Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo Ferrari started off with a complete revamp of its manufacturing facility in Maranello. Ten years on, the venture has crossed an investment of 200 million Euros and has become an architectural marvel in its own right.
Going past the reception and administrative buildings in orange bricks on to Viale Enzo Ferrari, the rest of the facility on either side is more or less new. The mile-long avenue is flanked by a consortium of architectural masterpieces by some of the best in the world.
The Italians' love for Ferrari has been raised from a purely emotional level to one that is backed by hard facts - it topped the list of 100 best workplaces in Europe in 2007. Even after so many years of manufacturing awesome road cars, the heart of Ferrari still lies in what Enzo started off with - motorsport.
The Ferrari premises in Maranello are an amalgam of design ideas from various architects for different structures housing the numerous essential arms of the factory. The most significant out of those for the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Formula 1 team though, is the one designed by Renzo Piano - the wind tunnel.
The Italian master of architecture has used the tubes around the wind tunnel as an aesthetic feature instead of just concealing them like everyone else. The resultant form resembles a piston-conrod-crankshaft assembly from the air. Ferrari has been involved in F1 right from the beginning and has amassed no less than 16 Constructors' titles in their time in motorsports' premiere championship.
It is one thing to be aerodynamically efficient, but a completely different thing to have the power to harness that efficiency as well, which is where Ferrari's new engine shop comes into mention.
The exterior of the Nuovo Meccanica (new engine shop) may not be extraordinary but it is the way the creator - Marco Visconti has played around on the inside that makes it noteworthy. Massive CNC machines doing their stuff on blocks of aluminium that will become the legendary V8 and V12 powerplants in the engine bays of Ferraris and Maseratis are intertwined by green lawns and gardens.
The emphasis is on a soothing environment for the employees and this structure is climate controlled so the people working in here don't break a sweat - literally!
The engine shop isn't Marco's only contribution to Formula Uomo - he has also designed the paint shop - one of the best in the world. The structure is a display of the highest technical prowess - it boasts of having met industrial pollution norms from the next decade already. Ferrari's paint quality is already legendary and a team of programmed robots go about the painting process error-free .
Bang in the heart of the Ferrari village is also Visconti's third contribution - the company restaurant. Designed with the same theme as the gardens in the engine shop, the restaurant is surrounded by a partly covered square where employees can rest during their breaks.
The village itself is an area where Ferrari encourages its family of workers to socialise. Housing and lodging solutions within the village also offer new employees from outside Maranello a temporary means of accommodation.
One of the most radical structures on the Ferrari premises is the logistics centre, popularly known as the blimp.
Shaped like the top half of the huge hot air flying machine used extensively before and during the world wars, the stretched building forms the area for storing and moving all the materials utilised by the F1 team.
Climate controlled and with unbelievably clean on the inside, the structure is the most recognisable on the entire premise.
With provisions for trailers, vans and even the bigger tractortrailers that transport both of team Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's F1 contenders; this has got to be the most appealing building on site - both for visual appeal as well as for function.
Luca di Montezemolo's goal for Ferrari's manufacturing facilities is to have zero possibility of an industrial accident. The ultimate aim is also to become selfreliant for power generation as well - a feat that is closer to reality than it seems.
Work is already on for a photovoltaic system and a trigeneration plant which will allow Ferrari to cut the amount of electricity they take from the national Italian grid by 25 percent and also reduce CO2 emissions by 35 percent.
Environmental awareness is going hand in hand at Ferrari with technological innovation to make the most evocative supercars on the face of the earth. But what the Ferrari premises are also doing, is showing the way that facilities should be like - to not only optimise production while conserving the planet, but at the same time also keeping employees at the top of their game.
No wonder, Ferrari can lay claim to being the best workplace in the whole of Europe!