Mahdavi’s interiors are part of an ongoing, multi-stage project to refurbish the 500-year-old building, which was once the personal home of Cardinal Ferdinando de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany.
In total, around 20 of the villa’s rooms are being refurbished to promote contemporary design and arts. Italian fashion house Fendi has already unveiled a makeover of six historic salons, and now the Iranian-French architect and designer – best known for her striking use of colour – has tackled the Cardinal’s private rooms.
Villa Medici’s frescoes and painted ceilings remain very much intact. Still, they are juxtaposed by modern additions – including a saffron yellow sofa and armchairs and a graphic-patterned rug designed to reference the colours and shapes of the villa’s grand gardens.
In line with the renovation’s craft focus, Mahdavi commissioned artisans to create textiles, tiles and furniture, including a four-posted bed covered in complex marquetry. More rooms are set to be updated, with the villa releasing a call for projects later this year.
Accademia di Francia a Roma – Villa Medici, Viale della Trinità dei Monti, 1 00187 Rome, Italy