MANIFESTO

#63

CHANGE OF SPACE

THE CHARM
OF VILLA MEDICI

2022.12.16

The exclusive collaboration between Fendi and the Academy of France in Rome, with the support of Mobilier National, enables the refurbishment of the six historic Salons of Villa Medici, creating a dialogue between classical art and contemporary design.

The collaboration between Fendi and the Academy of France is aimed at renovating six representative Salons of Villa Medici, in Rome, by designing a new layout that aspires to creativity and contemporary design, thanks to the innovative and elegant vision of Kim Jones, Women and Couture Artistic Director of Fendi, and Silvia Venturini Fendi, Men and Accessories Artistic Director of the brand. The two designers, combining contemporary vision and heritage, have achieved a true harmonic metamorphosis of the spaces, transforming Villa Medici into a place where tomorrow’s artistic heritage is developed. The Academy of France in Rome was founded in 1666 with the intention of creating a cultural institution for the artists of the kingdom, giving the opportunity to stay for a period of time in the Eternal City to aspiring sculptors, painters and architects. The Villa Medici, headquarter of the Academy since 1803, displays a unique architectural and decorative identity, beginning during the Renaissance and goes through the centuries up to the extraordinary imprint of figurative painter Balthus in the 1960s and 1970s and designer Richard Peduzzi in the early 2000s, who are now part of the institution’s directors. Kim Jones and Silvia Venturini Fendi draw on the artistic legacy already present, and with the support of the Fendi Architecture department, they are committed to the new interpretation of the six Salons: Grand Salon, Salon des Pensionnaires, Salon de Musique, Salon de Lecture, Salon Bleu and Petit Salon. 

The vision of Kim Jones and Silvia Venturini Fendi has led to a metamorphosis of spaces that, by combining contemporary design and heritage, makes Villa Medici the place that perpetuates exceptional know-how while creating the heritage of tomorrow.

Color becomes the main element of the entire project: starting from the original wall painting lathes, a palette was selected for each of the rooms, which is particularly denoted in the three hand-knotted carpets with gradual shades, made of recycled French wool and designed exclusively for Villa Medici. The redesign work was also inspired by the desire to create a dialogue within the palace between the existing heritage and contemporary design, with the signature of Fendi’s fashion art directors, that of Fendi Casa, and the contribution of a number of designers hosted for some special collaborations. The pieces are created by designers Chiara Andreatti, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Toan Nguyen, and Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance. The last of these was inspired for the project by the classical forms and materials characteristic of the city of Rome: the Borghese table adapted for the Salon des Pensionnaires evokes the profile of domestic pines, while for the Salon de Lecture and the Salon Bleu he thought of tables that recall the paving of the Via Appia Antica. Chiara Andreatti took care of the Virgola chairs, featured in the Salon bleu and the Salon de Lecture, while the Welcome sofa and armchairs designed for Fendi Casa set up the Salon des Pensionnaires. The Sandia sofa, designed by Toan Nguyen and produced by Fendi Casa, is featured in the Petit Salon with a warm shade from orange to rust, echoing the hue of the room’s wall painting. Belleville chairs, a design by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, are designed by Vitra and placed within the Grand Salon, a space dedicated to Villa Medici’s cultural programming such as events, concerts, and performances. New contemporary designer furnishings converse harmoniously with furniture and installations chosen by Balthus and Richard Peduzzi, along with casts of 18th-century classical works from previous artists at the Academy. 

In the Salons of Villa Medici, in addition to being renovated with design pieces, new artworks are also being introduced to set up the walls and further emphasize the link between heritage and contemporary art. Thanks to the partnership with Mobilier National, a French institution that supports arts and crafts, a number of tapestries are introduced that present a modern and contemporary style made mostly by women artists: Louise Bourgeois, Sheila Hicks, Aurelie Nemours, Alicia Penalba, and Sonia Delaunay, but also by Raoul Ubac, Edoardo Chillida, and Patrick Corillon are the artists who collaborated on the project and created the works arranged next to the Academy’s collections. The Grand Salon, which also withstand a major restoration during this occasion, is transformed into a true contemporary art gallery thanks to the black and white pieces juxtaposed with historical pieces that seem to take on a new life. The project provided a way to introduce contemporary design pieces that totally changed the look of the Villa Medici, and on the occasion of the refurbishment, partner Devialet contributed with the improvement of the sound quality of the salons by creating custom-made acoustic panels installed behind some of the tapestries to accentuate the entire visitor experience. This incredible initiative made possible by the exclusive partnership between Fendi and the Academy of France confirmed the brand’s commitment to protecting its artistic heritage, continuing its ongoing connection with the city of Rome. 

 

 

For further information villamedici.it.

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