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A tale of light-wrought revival thanks to L&L Luce&Light

10 June 2024

The eclectic Rocchetta Mattei castle, located on the Northern Apennine Mountains


An enchanting labyrinth of towers, monumental staircases, reception rooms and private quarters that reference different styles. A fairytale palace that evokes mysterious emotions. This is the eclectic Rocchetta Mattei castle, located on the Northern Apennine Mountains and named after Count Cesare Mattei, where the spaces are interpreted in a style that aims to be neo-mediaeval, but does not reject Moorish inspiration, and fiery Florentine, neo-romantic, Arab and Slavic influences. Today the castle is owned by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Bologna, which has brought it back to life through a faithful and extensive restoration, re-establishing its artistic and cultural value and making it once again accessible to visitors after years of closure and neglect.

In addition to the building – with a floor area of 2,700 square metres, and a height of 30 metres – undergoing structural redevelopment, the lighting system was also given a complete makeover. The task was assigned to architect and lighting designer Beatrice Ferrieri, who chose L&L Luce&Light fixtures to restore this private residence with its unique characteristics to its former glory. From the start, the lighting was envisaged as a solid material whose source could be concealed, so as not to disturb the original architectural balance. At the same time, it needed to be calibrated so that it could thrill new visitors to the castle, as well as being eco-friendly and easy to maintain.

The lighting design emphasises the castle’s most exquisite details, breathing fresh life into a space that was neglected for decades. With the fixtures hidden away in the corners, it stirs up new sensations as if by magic. The design was developed with the aim of using light to guide, orient and enrapture visitors to this monumental maze of spaces that communicate with each other in a most unusual manner. Light reveals and conceals, emphasises and calms. The compact dimensions of the Spot 1.0 projectors, 2W with 3000K light and 40° optics, positioned on perforated brackets, render them unobtrusive, while the many ways they can be adjusted make them highly versatile. Consequently, they are able to satisfy all the design requirements, highlighting the details and characteristics of every room.

Chiaroscuro effects are particularly evident inside the chapel room, where Arabic Islamic elements, such as the arches inspired by those of the Mezquita in Cordova, interact with elements of the Italian mediaeval architectural tradition. The structure and decorations are purely ornamental, made of light local materials such as plaster, cement, brick and wood. In complete accord with the existing architecture, theatrical effects, charged with multiple meanings, are now created by the new lighting. This, combined with various technical considerations, such as the use of calibrated optics or grazing light to enhance the richness of the inlays and building materials, has substantially contributed to the success of the lighting design.


Photocredits: Fabio Bascetta

L&L Luce&Light

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