Design and Technology
Connecting and Creating with Francesca Muzio of FM Architettura
Founded in 2009 by Francesca Muzio, FM Architettura d'Interni's designs span land and sea across the globe. Muzio speaks about her influences and FM Architettura approaches.
From architecture and design, to philosophy and marketing, FM Architettura d’Interni‘s foundations are vast and varied. Having trained as an architect, co-founder Francesca Muzio spent her formative years working with greats like Renzo Piano on land-based projects and with architect Giacomo Mortola on luxury cruise liners for P&O Princess Cruises. She moved into the superyacht realm as creative director of the interior design department of CRN, overseeing the design and build of 112 yachts.
While each one of these 112 projects was unique, it was motor yacht Romance that opened her eyes to the possibilities of personality and style that the superyacht industry holds. “With [Romance] I began to understand superyacht design in a new way,” she says. “I understood it beyond a style, and rather an expression of a personality and a lifestyle. As we went through the stages, I developed a new kind of sensitivity to understanding the individuality of every client, their dreams, and the experience they are looking for, and how design can enhance these things.”
It was this yacht that fuelled her desire to branch out on her own. Fast forward over 10 years and Muzio has solidified FM Architettura’s place on the luxury design map. Projects range from 63m Benetti motor yacht Waku and the incredible refit of Lürssen’s 65m Polar Star, to a penthouse in Moscow, a villa in Beverly Hills and the Shangri-La at the Shard in London.
The studio’s maxim is “I am my home” and its design process is deeply rooted in the client, so it is unsurprising that any sense of a house style is difficult to identify within their projects. The clients and their dreams are the inspiration, making each project wildly different. “With projects in over 20 different countries, and working with strong personalities from diverse cultures, this personal approach has served us well, and in a way has become our style.”
For inspiration, Muzio looks to iconic architects of the past, particularly industrial designer and artist Gio Ponti. “His design really understood what the abilities of people and artisans were and how he as a designer could be the link,” she says. “He understood how the best of passion and skill and materials of artisans and craftsmen could be applied to make magnificent pieces that offer a soul to living spaces of every day.”
Muzio embodies this passion for connecting through creation – linking artisans and materials, clients and beautiful spaces. Astonishingly, FM Architettura has collaborated with over 400 artisans in Italy and beyond over the years. “In this way we are a sort of ‘Italian Style Tailors’,” says Muzio. “We create truly one of a kind elements and spaces based our clients’ individuality.”
Arguably, the studio’s services really go beyond the limits of traditional interior design. Its key steps, which include briefing, concept sketches, detailed design, furniture design, procurement, construction, fit-out and final dressing, are customised to the specific nature of each project – large or small, land or sea. FM boasts over 4,000sqm of warehouse facilities, meaning that it is able to design, produce, and ship with the highest level of quality control from conception to completion.
Looking ahead, FM Architettura is working on a 80m+ superyacht with Feadship, a 63m Lürssen refit, two 240m residential towers in the Philippines designed by the renowned American architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and a very special residence in Rome that was the former residence of a Renaissance Pope. “The project that is currently on the drawing board is always the most exciting,” says Muzio. “At FM, we have had the opportunity to have many beautiful experiences in many different places. Each hold challenges of their own with demanding clients who approach details in very different ways, and we enjoy understanding how people live and coming up with the solutions.”