Regeneration / Economy. Reclaiming an urban space: social innovation through Lighting
Termini station in Rome is the second busiest station in the whole of Europe after the Gare du Nord in Paris. It is also one of the most important examples of 1950s Italian architecture. Since 2011 a project entitled “Grandi Stazioni”, managed by the “Grandi Stazioni Retail” company has been in operation to modernise and refurbish the entire complex”.
The project is divided into two main parts: the Services Section and the Car Parks Section. The Services Section includes the creation of the new Terrazza Termini (or Termini Terrace), whereas the Car Parks Section features an indoor car park with 1,400 spaces. The latter is a highly advanced engineering project based on incremental launch technology that is normally used in bridge construction. This involves assembling the various sections of the first two floors onsite and then using a rack to slide them into the place.Any building work in this area is particularly complex for two reasons. Firstly, because the station is open to the public and all works must therefore be conducted in absolute safety. And secondly, because the entire space is of immense archaeological importance as the station is so near to the Baths of Diocletian, from which the station takes its name. Anti-seismic regulations complicate the situation even further as special standards need to be applied to any structure that covers more than 6000 m2, is more than 5 m high and is located in a historical building.
The Termini Terrace is the new bar and restaurant area in the station. It is located on the first floor and overlooks the tracks through a series of huge windows that stretch all the way from via Giolitti on one side of the station to Via Marsala on the other. In June 2016 the first half of the terrace from Via Giolitti to the middle of the station was unveiled. The other half that will continue to Via Marsala will be concluded at the end of 2017. From the point of view of lighting design, the project has focused on “Ledification”, in line with the policies of Lighting Europe (the association that represents the lighting industry in Europe), and all “Grandi Stazioni” projects, as energy savings and low maintenance are essential to fulfilling their mission of “investing now to save money later”. The escalator that takes customers to the first floor, from the Galleria di Gommata, the pedestrian precinct that runs across the station from via Giolitti to via Marsala, has therefore been lit with direct and indirect emission Gem luminaires. These devices create homogeneous, soft, diffused lighting as well as decorating the space with their pleasant, lively style. These devices were also chosen to provide an elegant solution to the question of the fire prevention system, as the existing smoke extractors were extremely visible and the opportunity to mount pendant Gem luminaires at different heights and irregular distances meant they could be hidden completely.
The architectural design for the Terrace is based on linearity, simplicity and sharp contours, emphasized by a shade of white specifically chosen to evoke travertine marble, a hallmark of the city of Rome. The overall concept is that of a lively, open space where travellers can relax in a lounge-like mood created by a corridor of light in the false ceiling. In the centre there is a skylight lit by Underscore luminaires which then continue in a long, luminous ribbon surrounded by recessed Deep Laser luminaires. This feature gives the environment an extremely distinctive style while also adding a sense of unity to an area that is so large it has been divided into 3 different zones, (only the first 2 of which were completed in 2016). Each of these zones has its own atmosphere that is reinforced by luminaires that are different, but which all create a diffused, soft and homogeneous light effect. One of the areas is lit by pendant iSign luminaires mounted on short rods, a style that emphasizes the environment's contemporary and informal mood. The luminaires have been deliberately mounted at different heights and in a "unordered" fashion, to quote the architect Bernardini. The central area, on the other hand, is an intermediate transit area that features lines of light, which blend in with the architecture thanks to grooved plasterboard structures fitted with indirect emission Underscore luminaires. Here, artificial lighting has been used to integrate the natural light that floods in through the huge window during the day, and lights up the structure for the outside world at night.
In a place frequented by such a large number of people, the amenities are also very important. So the bathrooms are lit with twin assembly Laser Blade luminaires in the areas along the washstands and WC zone. In the ante-bathroom areas Laser Blade luminaires with five assemblies have been used along with Underscore luminaires installed in the grooves in the false ceiling to create lines of light. Underscore devices have also been used to rear-light the mirrors. The refurbishment project includes the outside of the station, too, especially the walkways covered by overhanging roofs in both Via Marsala and Via Giolitti. Here the design guidelines focused on offering users a greater sense of safety, so iPro devices have been installed with increased lighting levels. These ceiling-mounted, die-cast aluminium luminaires are vandal-proof as they are fitted with a safety glass cover with a knock resistance level of IK07 (that will withstand a 2J energy rating knock).
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