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Bringing a square to light

20 February 2024

L&L Luce&Light enlightens Piazza San Giustino in Chieti, Italy

 

Founded, according to legend, by the mythical Greek hero Achilles and dubbed the “terrace of Abruzzo” because of its shape and location, Chieti boasts a vast artistic and archaeological heritage, one of the richest in Italy. The beating heart of the city is Piazza San Giustino, bordered by the cathedral of the same name, fulcrum of the city’s spiritual and religious life, and by a series of important palazzos: the Palazzo Comunale (the town hall), the Palazzo di Giustizia (the law courts), the Palazzo Mezzanotte and the Palazzo Sirolli. It has been redeveloped, with work on the paving and lighting taking about three years and revealing several historical finds during the excavations.

The city’s “living room” is once again fully available to its inhabitants, ready to resume its function as a popular meeting place. The redevelopment involved an addendum to the original project, born out of the need to carry out more work than previously planned, especially in relation to the further extension of the areas affected by the archaeological excavations, under the supervision of the Sovrintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti and Paesaggio (the organ responsible for the protection and enhancement of cultural heritage and landscape assets) for the provinces of Chieti and Pescara.

In addition to the “archaeological part”, it provided for significant changes to the street lighting with respect to the initial project: in fact, because of further ancient finds that made it impossible to continue as planned, the entire system had to be redesigned. Two tall lampposts dating back to 1937 were removed, and a lighting system was set up that entirely bypasses the use of posts anchored in the ground with a new design involving the installation of LED projectors on the facades of the buildings around the square. As a result, this system avoids creating areas with deeper shadows in some parts than in others and ensures more uniform lighting across the entire space.

The lighting design for the square and the surrounding buildings uses L&L Luce&Light fixtures recessed flush with the paving for the perimeter facades, with their output reaching no higher than 1.50 / 2 metres. This solution revitalises the urban space in every corner of the square, enhancing its stone materials and architectural details. The light grazing the long, high walls of the cathedral, between the two impressive stairways, creates a welcoming space for people to congregate in again. In order to meet the design’s particular requirements, some of the company’s most recent and high-performance lighting fixtures were chosen. TAGO 1.1 and 1.3 were chosen for the colonnades surrounding the square, with 20°x49° elliptical optics, tiltable +/-20° and fitted with anti-glare shields built into the fixture – this solution diffuses the light output over the vertical surfaces of the columns and arches, accentuating the architectural details and increasing visual comfort across the entire area.

TAGO is the ideal choice to create an unobtrusive wash of light that embraces the space without imposing a hierarchy on it. Because the light output is both tilted and aimed by manipulating the end caps, the seal, guaranteed IP65 and IP67, is not compromised. The same TAGO 1.3, but with wall-grazing optics, was selected to light the stone walls of the cathedral and bell tower. Its grazing light brings out the textures of the medieval walls and the porosity of the plinth and tapered stairways, bringing new vitality and liveability to Piazza San Giustino’s ample space. As people walk through the square or stop for a while in this renovated “living room”, they can admire the different architectural elements of the cathedral and the aristocratic palazzos.

A QUILATERO 2.4 outdoor recessed fixture, with 12° optics, illuminates the statue in front of the bell tower. Its very narrow beam is ideal for enhancing the length of the bronze sculpture of St Justine created by Luciano Primavera in 2005. The fixture, recessed almost invisibly into the paving, makes the sculpture’s exquisite details clearly visible, while its built-in anti-glare screen ensures excellent visual comfort.

 

Photo: Simone Tommasini

L&L Luce&Light

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