At the press conference it organized in Rome on October 26, Sidief, the owner of the historic Palazzo Borghese, described its vision for the palace: the redevelopment of an important historic building that will upgrade its original residential function and contribute to revitalizing an important historic area of Rome. The conference was held in the building itself, with architect and designer Patricia Urquiola, head of the company group that won the tender, in attendance, along with Mario Breglia and Carola Giuseppetti, president and general director respectively of Sidief.
Construction of the palace began in 1624 under Cardinal Scipione Borghese. It was originally intended to provide accommodation for the Borgheses’ guests as well as the family’s hundreds of servants. The main entrance, an imposing portal, is off Piazza Borghese. The building has six above-ground floors and a basement level, covering a total of some 108 thousand square feet (10,000 m2), served by four stairwells. The building is an odd shape, bordered by Piazza Borghese, Via di Ripetta, Via del Clementino, and a small private street that leads from Via Ripetta to Piazza Borghese, near La Sapienza University’s faculty of architecture. The ground-level floor is mainly occupied by commercial units, while there are also two internal courtyards. The first, accessed from the main entrance, is large, rectangular, parallel to the main façade, and is marked by a series of arches and pillars on the different floor levels. The second is smaller and trapezoidal, with closed side walls and a single loggia on the side facing Via del Clementino.
The building is owned by Italian realty firm Sidief, which has established a public-private partnership with close collaboration with the Superintendency and Municipality of Rome, with the aim of redeveloping this important part of the city and reconnecting it to the most vital areas of the historic center. In December 2020, Sidief organized a tender for the renovation of the building. Invitations were sent to a short list of eight national and international firms, all of them with significant experience in the residential sector, in the restoration and repurposing of historic buildings, and, finally, in interior design.
The tender was awarded to a group of companies, led by Patricia Urquiola SpA, on the basis of a design concept that stood out for the proper balance of poetic expression, functional spaces, modern infrastructure, and respect for the building’s history. The design phase will continue throughout 2022, while the work is scheduled for completion by late 2025. The total investment, to be covered by Sidief in its entirety, right down to the furnishings, will be around 30 million euros.
The project sets out to enhance the entire complex, while retaining its predominantly residential use. The building’s envelope will be fully restored, from the facades to the internal courtyard and common areas, in compliance with heritage regulations. All the interior spaces, including their furnishings, will be redesigned to bring the residences up to a premium standard, in line with market expectations, while also respecting the history of the building. The residences, with the addition of numerous services, will be available to rent. The stylistic vision of the project reflects the history of the building while also focusing on quality solutions marked by the understated elegance typical of the building itself. It will also feature design elements aimed at simplifying the management of the rental properties. Finally, the project includes a strong emphasis on energy efficiency and respect for the environment.
Images: Studio Urquiola for SIDIEF, "Palazzo della Famiglia Borghese", courtesy SIDIEF