Restoration of the Park of Careggi’s Medicean Villa


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Location: Florence / Italy / Type: Cultural Heritage / Residential Parks / Built: 2022 /
Show on Google Maps / Published on May 12, 2023

The project for the enhancement of the garden and the park of the Medici Villa of Careggi, that is a 14th century villa in Florence, has been developed for the Tuscany Region. In consideration of the historical stratification that is still legible, the project starts from a conservative restoration of the structure, enriched by species botanicals to recall the peculiarities of the different eras, in a perspective of contemporary use and management of the garden, working with the themes of environmental sustainability, biodiversity and the ecosystemic value.

In order to maintain the legibility of the historical stratifications, a conservative intervention has been proposed as regards the design and architecture of the garden, deliberately respectful of the historical evolution that has characterized the site: restoration and refunctionalization of the water tanks, recovery of the seventeenth-century statuary and decorative apparatus, recovery of the historic flooring and the flowery parterre of the Villa, cleaning of all inconsistent plant elements.

From the point of view of botanical choices, however, the historical lists tell of rare and special collections, of aromatic and balsamic plants, true oddities of that era, of a very large variety of plants present (myrtle, olive, oak, poplar, plantain, aromatic plants, citrus fruits, spices, flowers…); Lorenzo il Magnifico had gathered in his garden one of the first examples of a botanical collection.

Nowadays, proposing the same varieties of species, especially those linked to horticultural crops and the oddities of the time, no longer appears in line with the use of a public garden and is no longer ecologically sustainable; therefore, in the project, the most suitable species were identified in terms of location, resistance and easy maintenance, as well as for their high ornamental value, linked in any case to the research and Renaissance taste that characterizes the place.

The renewal has taken into account the botanical evolution that has taken place up to now, selecting similar varieties in terms of aesthetic appearance and botanical refinement, but preferable with respect to maintenance, flowering periods and resistance capacity.

The expected results of the project are:

1. Promote the development of ecosystem functions with direct and positive environmental effects

After examining the phytosanitary conditions of the existing vegetation, the project aims to replace the missing trees and increase the tree component in correspondence with the clearings, using species consistent with the existing forest, in order to increase the biodiversity of this area of approximately 30,000 sqm, completely incorporated into the city. For the same purpose, and with the intention of increasing the stratification of the forest, the undergrowth can be managed in such a way as to allow its correct evolution through extraordinary maintenance interventions.

Nesting houses for birds and nocturnal micro-mammals will also be installed and bug hotels will be built to house pollinating insects.

2. Strengthen and disseminate scientific, technical, botanical and environmental knowledge in a place of reborn beauty

Analyzing the historical evolution of the complex, its function as a “cradle of culture” clearly emerges. In particular, in its history, botanical research has always represented an element of interest also witnessed in various artistic and literary works. In order to maintain this important function, the project intervenes by re-proposing the seventeenth-century collection of dwarf fruits, the collection of citrons and potted lemons in a contemporary key. Alongside the environmental function performed by the park that is rich in biodiversity, the historic garden, reopened to the public, represents a resource in terms of scientific, technical, botanical and environmental knowledge developed, tested and settled over the centuries.

Project Data

Landscape Architecture: Pool Landscape

Other designers involved in the design of landscape: Dott. For. Daniele Bartolini, Dott. For. Cristiano Castaldi, Arch. Ilaria Forti (Restoration)
Year completed: 2022 – on going

 

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