LUCE 325 - Page 9

Enel’s LED technology illuminates the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore T o illuminate the architectural space of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. With this goal, the Endesa Foundation and Enel X, the Enel Group company dedicated to innovative products and digital solutions, created a new lighting system composed of the latest generation LEDs, thanks to which, in a few months, a growing number of visitors enter every day one of the most beautiful and representative churches of the artistic heritage of the capital. The installation has been very challenging and complex. Started in August 2017, and completed at the end of the same year, it saw the participation of dozens of Enel experts. The goals of the new system were mainly energy saving and improvement of architectural lighting. Inside the Basilica, different architectural and artistic styles have contributed over time to make it one of the most important monuments of the city of Rome. Therefore, a study and a historical-artistic analysis of the different architectural volumes were first carried on, identifying the different areas of intervention: the pronaos, the central nave, the side aisles, the apse, the main altar, the crypt, the coffered ceiling, several chapels - the smaller ones, but also the Pauline, the Cesi, and the Sforza ones -, the Crucifix, the baptistery, and the vestibule. Within the identified areas of intervention, the artistic lighting project provided for an intervention based on the reading levels that identify the architectural space, as outlined by the areas that make up the basilica and the decorative elements that enrich it. With regard to the improvement and the reading of the architectural space, a diffused lighting that ensures a homogeneous light beam has been proposed, which is implemented by an “accent lighting”. This design approach matched the desire to enhance the colours of the different materials that compose the architectural structure and the inner volumes of the Basilica, through the choice of high colour rendering LED sources. In short, the project aims at improving the use of space, both for liturgical needs and for the enjoyment of valuable historical monument. It therefore involved: a revaluation of the symbolic, liturgical, and religious value; a revaluation of the architectural complex; the use of new technologies; the achievement of savings and the improvement of energy efficiency. Light is then a tool to enhance architectural works, for the benefit of art and, above all, citizens. A smart and minimally invasive lighting system that favours the usability of spaces and the visual comfort, and which reinforces the perception of details, helping to enhance aesthetics and emotional reactions. A project carried out in the name of innovation that will bring an energy saving of 80%, allowing all devotees to live an unforgettable visual experience in their daily pilgrimage to what in Rome is also known as Liberian Basilica or Our Lady of the Snows. LUCE 325 7