Milan’s PAC Contemporary Art Pavilion, designed by architect Ignazio Gardella, holds an important place in Italian mid-20th century architecture. Built next to Villa Reale, it was conceived to host contemporary art exhibitions.
Partially destroyed by a bomb attack in 1993, the PAC was rebuilt by Gardella himself and his son Jacopo, strictly complying with the original design. One of the prerogatives of Gardella’s design is the role played by light, a fundamental element in spaces destined for art exhibitions. Gardella designed a three-level building where the relationship between natural and artificial lighting is one of the most important factors of the architecture. The parterre on the first level, made to host sculptures, is characterised by a large window opening onto Villa Reale’s park. The second level receives natural light through skylights, which can be adjusted according to the amount of light needed. The exhibition space is completed by a third level consisting of a balcony overlooking the second level and the gallery, entirely lit by artificial lights placed in such a way as to guarantee uniform general illumination, complemented by spotlights mounted in the various settings to highlight the works on display.
The PAC lighting system recently underwent a partial restyling to replace old fixtures with new LED luminaires and achieve a better lighting effect. Disano illuminazione – which had already supplied part of the lighting system – in collaboration with Studio Noé (a design studio specialised in contemporary art exhibitions and major events) provided its Techno System LED linear track-mounted luminaires.
The fixture blends seamlessly into the architecture and ensures high-quality LED light with excellent colour performance (CRI 90). Perfect colour rendering is certainly a key element for providing optimal viewing of works of art. It should be remembered that one of the advantages of LEDs is the absence of ultraviolet radiation, hence protecting materials and textiles from any possible alteration that their exposure to light may cause. Last but not least, these luminaires are environmentally friendly for their high energy efficiency and the absence of toxic chemicals that can harm the environment.
The intervention took place on the occasion of Luisa Lambri’s solo exhibition Autoritratto, conceived and developed specifically for the PAC pavilion. The installation of her photos along with the space are an integral part of Lambri’s work. Each new place that hosts one of her installations presents unique qualities with which the artist interacts, making each project a site-specific work. The exhibition at the PAC focuses on the relationship between Lambri’s works and Ignazio Gardella’s architecture. The photos become a true extension of the space itself and, as a consequence, Gardella’s architecture and the visitors’ experience are an integral part of the project.
Photo: Lorenzo Palmieri – Andrea Rossetti.