iGuzzini brings new light to Maestro Giotto’s masterpiece
iGuzzini continues its commitment to enhancing the world’s cultural heritage by illuminating the masterpieces of another Great Maestro. Following its renowned 2015 perceptive restoration project that brought new life to Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, the innovative IoT lighting system at the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua was unveiled on 11th September. The new system aims to enhance both the visitors’ experience of Giotto’s invaluable frescoes and the operation of the existing installation through a ground-breaking intelligent lighting application designed for art heritage. The company’s focus on careful analysis and innovation has also led to an on-going relationship with the Chapel. Thus, iGuzzini will continue to make improvements to the lighting as advances in technology bring about new solutions in the years to come.
"My suggestion to all other Italian companies is to echo iGuzzini” commented Dario Franceschini, the Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism after visiting the Scrovegni Chapel. “When a company does something similar to what iGuzzini did with this project, I can only be grateful”. This project is part of a wider working relationship between iGuzzini and the Municipality of Padua, conducted under the supervision of the Interdisciplinary Commission for the Conservation and Restoration of the Scrovegni Chapel and in close collaboration with the Photometry section of the High Institute for Conservation and Restoration with the overall aim of creating a more emotional, true and immersive experience of the magical colours of Giotto’s art. The new IoT lighting system, resulting in a perceptive restoration, involves integrating LED luminaires, environment sensors and Internet Protocol software.
The asymmetrical distribution of the six windows on the southern façade of the Chapel produces an uneven distribution of sunlight, as the windowed wall enjoys less natural light than the one opposite. This creates constant changes in the environment’s visual balance and a counter-light effect likely to inconvenience visitors. In an initial phase, sensors designed specifically for the Chapel, will measure the variations in natural light. Then, once this data has been processed, a dynamic intelligent lighting system will be installed that will use a specific and highly advanced algorithm to adapt the artificial light to any changes in environmental conditions. This will benefit both the visual experience and the conservation of the paintings, as the artificial light will interact dynamically with the natural light and automatically adjust the colour temperature and intensity to constantly achieve values that offer the best possible viewing conditions. From the moment it is installed, this system will guarantee better colour rendering and energy savings of up to 60% compared to the previous lighting system.
The installation of Palco and Laser Blade luminaires with a high colour rendering index – and a design that blends perfectly with the Chapel’s architectural features – immediately guarantees a better perception of the frescoes’ colours, especially in terms of the warm tones (yellow-orange-red), which enhance the gold leaf used in the haloes and other features. The new system also guarantees immediate improvements to the already optimal conservation conditions of the paintings by zeroing UV and IR emissions to avoid any risk of damage. Using products with Tuneable White technology, which enables white light tones to be adjusted dynamically as the intensity of natural light varies, ensures that, in a second phase, visitors will be able to see these frescoes more clearly, regardless of the time of day.
The lighting design for the Scrovegni Chapel is part of a programme aimed at enhancing Padua’s cultural and architectural heritage and improving the town’s energy efficiency. This initiative will also include the installation of new lighting systems for the Specola Observatory that celebrates its 250th anniversary this year, and the Palazzo della Ragione, both of which will be unveiled in the near future. Furthermore, the Scrovegni Chapel and the Palazzo della Ragione represent two crucial milestones in the artistic itinerary promoted by the Padova Urbs Picta dossier through which the city of Padua intends to acquire UNESCO World Heritage status.
Sergio Giordani, Mayor of the City of Padua; Cristiano Corazzari, Culture Councilor of the Veneto Region; Andrea Colasio, Culture Councilor of the City of Padua; Adolfo Guzzini, iGuzzini President; Gisella Capponi, Director of High Institute for Conservation and Restoration and Dario Franceschini, Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism – were all present at the press conference.