Published on: September 2, 2009
Another inspiring project from Studio Palandella. The lighting project, realized for the parish church San Germano church in Ottiglio (IT), has won the ÔÇťInternational Section Award ÔÇť within the IIDA of IESNA.
More detailed description by Studio Palandella follows:
Built on the same site of a previous, but ruined, church of the fifteenth century dedicated to the ÔÇť Madonna delle Grazie ÔÇť, the parish church looks down to the Ottiglio village and its characteristic and lovely houses, grouped on the hilly slope.
The whole community took charge for the reconstruction, in the second half of the eighteenth century, of the new impressive building, which received, in addition to the traditional name, also the name of San Germano, the french bishop particularly known at that time.
The construction lasted 8 years, the first stone being layed down by Monsignor Giuseppe Luigi Avogadro on 19th April, 1761 and eventually the church was consecrated from the same Monsignor on 30th July, 1769.
In front of the entrance, on the small, elevated churchyard, people can admire the graceful fa├žade and the magnificent walnut portal, masterpiece of the eighteenth century, recently, on year 1976, restored, thanks to the Art Superintendence,┬á by Mr. Franchini, cabinet maker of Turin.
Just from the entrance one can enjoy the beautiful three aisles inside: this is a large and decorated place, divided by stylish Corinthian capitals, which support graceful ornament covered arches, where bible and evangelical verses are framed.
The vaults are painted with frescoes, San Germano Triumph and King Christus Triunph, made by Rodolfo Morgari, member of an important painter family of Turin.
Such rich church called a careful analysis aiming on one side to underline the painting decorations and the majestic inside but on the other side to avoid possible damages to the colour pigments due to the artificial light.
When the lighting designer is in the position of matching technical and scientific with architectural and artistic knowledge, his lighting project will cover not only the choice of lighting devices or the working out of calculation for illumination engineering, but will pursue the aim of a good availability of the worship place with a proper ratio between light and shadow: here great importance takes the lighting value, the luminance control as well as the identification of the stage illumination.
The magnificent San Germano church inside could lead the designer astray, pushing him toward the choice of an high level of lighting; but the necessity to preserve it, is obviously more important than the illumination, so much to suggest the selection of lamps equipped with special screens as well as of a rightly reduced power for the frescoes lighting.
By illuminating the architectural and artistic works of art one should never overlook the main use of the church, and therefore of the illumination itselfs, that is the reading by the members of the congregation, by the celebrant and the assistants.
With care and a lot of attention the lighting equipment has been selected, looking for both precise technical and aesthetic features. Moreover it was imperative the use of compact dimension lamps, so to be able to fit in the same box pieces of different power and with various lenses.
Another goal was the proper fitting of the lighting equipments in the interior space, so to avoid not only their too strong presence and invasion, even when not in function, but also the dazzling of the people.
The lighting groups are placed on top of the cornice and are partially visible; their position is a compromise caused by the need of the right illumination performance in the presence of the railing, which do not permit to hide completely the equipment.
The mostly utilized source is the Mastercolour 3000K, with metal halide and high chromatic yield: the power are of 35, 70 and 150 W.
Of not less importance was the supply, for the celebrants, of an advanced dynamic control system, so to allow different ignitions, according to the needs, as well as to obtain a significant energy saving.
The whole project has been eventually implemented, with some exceptions, due to a shorter budget, such a few inside ÔÇť accent ÔÇť lighting and the outside illumination of the fa├žade, which is looking down to the Ottiglio village and its valley.
The IESNA Prize is tributing an important recognition, considering the high number of participants, around 200, to the ÔÇť international ÔÇť section, certainly to the lighting project but even to the Ottiglio parish church, for its engagement in the maintenance and the adornment of the San Germano building.
Posted by: Lu─Źka Slatner