The “Leggera” permanent installation of lighting design is one of the interventions inaugurated in Salita alla Torre degli Embriaci (Santa Maria di Castello area) in the historic center of Genoa, and is part of the larger #LightingForGenoa project, the first Italian example of multiple permanent lighting design interventions as an element of urban regeneration (#LightingForGenoa conceived and coordinated by of Genoa with the creative direction of the Lighting Designer Stefania Toro).

The lighting design intervention has the intention of making this urban space, a green oasis of peace, even after sunset, inviting people to new practices of socialisation while fostering unusual cultural experiences, such as that of reading at night in the open air, already experimented in the past by Designer Giorgia Brusemini with her temporary lighting interventions. An aesthetic and formal metamorphosis takes place in the already existing benches, while remaining recognizable and usable during the day and suitable for accommodating 2 or more readers at night. In the surrounding pedestrian paths, we recognize the poetic and evocative projections of the light that filters through the leaves and branches (in Japanese: Komorebi) by the lighting designer Carla Morganti, enhancing the local atmosphere, wrapping up and accompanying the visitor to catch the shadows, without fear even at sunset. In the use of a thoughtful and calibrated “gentle light”, the designers indicate new ways to live and enhance the outdoor common spaces, generating vibrant, thriving, safe and inclusive places around the clock for those who live, work and play in the city.

The designers have combined their skills, specializations, bringing to the Salita Torre Embriaci a gentle light capable of enriching the nocturnal landscape. At the Salita Torre Embriaci, the historic benches are now equipped with a comfortable and indirect light to be able to read a book even in the evening, perhaps in the summer in the middle of the coolness and surrounded by a welcoming luminous scenario that wants to re-propose that fascinating effect of vibrant flashes that only the natural light that filters through the leaves can generate. Light makes a place visible, but also the people who live there and take care of it.

The challenges that the designers had to face were to be able to develop a permanent project that could dialogue and integrate with the urban space, without changing its nature but enhancing it. A special focus was given to the selection of technical solutions and equipment that could stand the test of time. Specifically for the benches, together with LPS and GNStyle, a design was created that makes the light sources as safe as possible and makes maintenance simple. Another challenge was to propose to the Superintendency of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape for the Metropolitan City of Genoa, a solution that respected the flooring, enhanced the historic benches and the choice of compact, non-invasive but high-performance projectors positioned in strategic points on the surrounding buildings.

The installation expresses the desire to make the inhabitants experience the feeling of being walking or sitting under the canopy of trees, where the leaves are moved by the wind and allow the sun’s rays to pass through them by vibrating.
The walls of the Church of Santa Maria di Castello, as well as the retaining wall that runs along the slope have proved to be excellent blank pages, an optimal vertical support for the projections, clearly visible already proceeding from the lower part of the city.

To create the foliage effect, a custom design was created for the gobos, which were inserted into five projectors (with a colour temperature of 3000K) installed on opposite facades with two different patterns to better adapt to the different projection distances: one denser and smaller for the more distant gobos, another on the contrary with a slightly larger texture for the gobos installed at a closer distance.

Subsequently, the programming phase of the gobos projectors was fundamental in order to make the most of the vibration effect of the foliage. With the help of Musiquarium, it was possible to adjust these projectors according to various parameters, such as focal length and luminous intensity: the different and slight modulation of these two criteria, also using staggered time cycles, made it possible to obtain a natural effect and delicately perceptible.

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