Exploring Australia’s most iconic road with Kelvin Ho and Ferrari Portofino

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Exploring Australia’s most iconic road with Kelvin Ho and Ferrari Portofino60075

Thanks to his innate understanding of form and function, Kelvin Ho salutes his passion for luxury motor vehicles by taking an epic drive with Ferrari Portofino.

  • 05 Jun 2019


6th Jun 2019


If there’s anyone who understands the power of incredible design, it’s interior architect and designer Kelvin Ho. One of Australia’s leading creatives, his portfolio under Akin Atelier spans an array of stunning and carefully considered hospitality, retail and residential spaces in both local and overseas markets. And while his work is well documented in the design industry, it’s a little-known fact that he also harbours a long-time love of high-performance luxury cars.

“The visceral experience of driving and how this is shaped by design is part of what defines my passion for cars,” explains Ho. “It’s also what makes it my obsession! I focus entirely on the integrity of design, quality of the craftsmanship, and distinct design language that emotionally connects the driver with the brand.” When asked which brand best represents this, Ho has only one answer.  “Ferrari represents the pinnacle of high-performance, luxury motoring and timeless design,” he says. “The Ferrari Portofino mirrors this, takes it across the pure performance threshold and into the everyday through clever design and masterful engineering.”

Fittingly, this made Ho an ideal subject for Ferrari’s new video series, My Ferrari Portofino, which is directed by award-winning director Ben Gartland. “As an interior architect and designer, Kelvin Ho has an acute appreciation of form, function and environment,” explains Gartland. It’s also an observation backed by Ho. “The Ferrari Portotfino is a true embodiment of my design values. Ferrari balances design and engineering with a rich overlay of history and emotional connection,” he says. “My father instilled an appreciation for fast cars in me from a young age. As a child, I spent countless hours drawing them, and trying to perfect the lines of the iconic Ferrari F40.”

Of course, growing up in a country where freedom and the great outdoors are intrinsically linked, Ho and Gartland were keen to find a location that balances Ferrari’s Italian heritage with an Australian sensibility. “There’s certainly a connection between the Ferrari Portofino vehicle and the Italian seaside town. They’re both gorgeous, dramatic and unforgettable,” says Gartland. “Whether you’re on the Italian Riviera or anywhere in the world, driving the Ferrari Portofino is about freedom and lifestyle. And of course, everyone’s experience is different.”

Choosing one of Australia’s truly stunning stretches of road – the Great Ocean Road in Victoria – as backdrop, Gartland and Ho take us on a journey through the scenic coastal landscape. “With the Great Ocean Road having such dramatic shape, Kelvin was a natural fit to connect the Ferrari Portofino’s design language with the driving experience. As a film maker, it was about putting the audience in the front seat to create a feeling of spirit, elegance and pure Ferrari power.” 

And luckily for Ho, it ticked off one of his long-held bucket list experiences. “The Great Ocean Road is a part of Australia that I’ve always wanted to experience. The drive was exceptional and gave me the opportunity to explore this unique and dramatic part of Australia. Spending a few days with the Ferrari Portofino on this stretch of road gave me a chance to understand and explore the dynamics of the car by progressively pushing the car into each corner and straight.”

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for Ho. When asked to name his fantasy Ferrari drive, he’s quick to name the famous Strada della Forra, in northern Italy as his top choice. “This scenic drive was described by Winston Churchill as the eighth wonder of the world, and it was the location for an epic car chase in the 007 film, Quantum of Solace,” he smiles. “The twisting, narrow road burrows through a mountain which was carved out by the river Brasa. It’s a dream drive that I would love to experience in the Ferrari Portofino.”

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