Rome, Italy | 2005 | Culture
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The consolidation of Villa Medici

  • Contracting owner: French Academy in Rome (Ministry of Culture)
  • Project management: Chief Architect of Historical Monuments, AREP
  • Technical consultant: CSTB
  • Beginning of the studies: end of 2003
  • End of works: June 2005
Drawing on our cross-disciplinary expertise we have been able to conceive a project for the consolidation of Villa Medici’s masonry preserving both its structural integrity and historical features.
Villa housing the French Academy in Rome whose construction started in 1564.  During the 20th century flaws appeared in the masonry of Villa Medici and the building had to be consolidated several times. In 2002, new techniques in surveying and scanning heritage buildings revealed that the volcanic tuff walls had very low structural strength. We worked hand in hand with the Chief Architect for Historical Monuments and with engineers from the French Scientific and Technical Centre for Building (CSTB) to introduce a project for the consolidation of the masonry (choice of the appropriate technique, presizing, utilization of a digital model) and create a digital model of the building. The technique we chose mainly consisted in anchoring the load-bearing walls and in fitting carbon fibre strips on both sides of the wall (to avoid breaking the continuity of the masonry) in order to preserve the structural integrity and the heritage features of Villa Medici.
At a second stage, an in-depth study of the building’s sensitivity to accidental events (earthquakes, hurricanes, compaction of soil) and a detailed history of flaws and previous consolidations will complete the initial survey. Finally, AREP was in charge of material testing on site and the implementation of an automated monitoring system for the building.