Festival des Cabanes a Villa Medici

The third Festival des Cabanes of Villa Medici will be inaugurated on May 22, 2024, a summer event that transforms the historic gardens of the French Academy in Rome into a laboratory of experimentation and architectural practice. The festival will last until September 29th.

The idea of ​​the hut, which gives its name to the Festival, is the starting point for a dialogue between architects, artists, designers and landscape architects on a series of themes: how can we propose non-invasive architectural forms? What are the sustainable housing solutions of the future?

Six temporary wooden huts designed by: ane architecture, Manuel Bouzas, Campo & Diploma 20 Architectural Association, Huttopia, LAMÉCOL et pratique architecture & fanum architecture

Six groups were invited to take over the historic gardens and propose a wide range of responses: a hut perched near umbrella pines, inviting visitors to retreat to read; a pavilion inspired by classical Roman architecture placed next to ancient remains; a small temple, homage to Bramante, in which wood and fabric are intertwined, and a study that subverts the codes of a cozy environment. Two housing prototypes complete the set: an emergency space that can be assembled and dismantled in less than 15 minutes, and an energy-self-sufficient shelter that rises to reveal new points of view. Two of the projects were selected in collaboration with the Festival des cabanes des Sources du Lac d’Annecy, partner of the Villa Medici Festival.

Experiencing gardens in a new way

Assembled in just a few weeks, these temporary architectural structures meet the immutable tranquility of historic gardens. Designed in wood or using recycled materials, some integrate seamlessly into the vegetation, while others wind over hedges. Going from hut to hut offers a new experience of the gardens of Villa Medici, while the deckchairs, tables and benches from the French Fermob collections scattered around the grounds invite you to pause and contemplate.

Built on the collis hortulorum (“hill of the gardens”), Villa Medici is inseparable from its Renaissance gardens, a source of inspiration for artists such as Jacopo Zucchi and Diego Velázquez. Its configuration and tree species testify to the historical development of Rome and its skyline: on site there is a notable collection of citrus trees inspired by Renaissance crops, vines and historical plants, in addition to the umbrella pines planted in 1832 on the initiative of Ingres, director of the Academy at the time.