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La Specola shines again with iGuzzini

Astronomical Observatory and astrophysics of Padua

Friday, 29th September, round-table and inauguration

La Specola, ancient Astronomical Observatory and astrophysics research symbol of Padua, finishes the series of celebrations marking its 250th anniversary with the public inauguration of its new lighting system by iGuzzini.
iGuzzini will participate in the round-table discussion “Good Light. The new lighting system of La Specola as an innovative example of sustainability and partnership between the public and private sectors”, which pre-empts the illumination of the Major Tower of Carrara Castle located in Piazza d’Armi del Castello. The square will stage an exceptional display of light shows organized as part of the Researcher Night’s programme, an initiative funded by the European Commission in order to bring the researching world closer to its audience.

The “La Specola” project, a result of a good relationship between public and private bodies, allowed the revival of an extraordinary piece of history, architecture and scientific culture in the city of Padua. Carrying on its commitment to the enhancement and valorisation of cultural heritage, iGuzzini carried out the installation of the lighting system in collaboration with the National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF), the City administration and AcegasApsAmga. The Lighting Pollution Observatory of ARPAV and Sovrintendenza Archeologica, Belle Arti e Paesaggio di Padova oversaw the project. 
“We’re thrilled to have brought back the light to a historical symbol of Padua, and above all, we are honoured to have as a backdrop the sky - the most ancient and evocative place where cultural heritage has been studied, protected and valued over time. This beautiful project enhances iGuzzini’s research and commitment to enhancing human wellbeing and benefiting the environment.” declared Andrea Sasso, iGuzzini’s CEO. The new lighting system ensures better lighting quality by reducing energy consumption and lighting pollution, a vital topic first approached by iGuzzini in the 80s through their advertising campaign “illuminare gli italiani” (Light up the Italians).

Besides enhancing the appearance of the Tower, Specola's new lighting system, developed by architect Antonio Stevan, will also be an example of lighting excellence from various viewpoints: urban design, energy efficiency and decrease in lighting pollution. To illuminate the façades of the medieval building, four groups of iPro LED projectors were installed on the roofs of the surrounding buildings. RGB projectors were also installed in order to provide striking chromatic effects for special occasions – these are achieved through the luminaires’ ability to blend red, green and blue LED light. The Sala delle Figure (Figures’ Room), is lit by Laser.  Underscore light LED profiles were installed into the six astronomical windows to create the effect of a luminous surface that is rhythmically repeated at the top of the tower. Moreover, the obsolete halogen luminaires in the terrace were replaced with iPro LED projectors, the same projectors used to illuminate the cupolas found at the highest level of the tower. The “La Specola” project, a virtuous declaration of respect for the environment, has been designed with directional wings that concentrate the projectors’ luminous flux specifically to the surface that needs to be illuminated, avoiding lighting dispersion, one of the causes of lighting pollution.

La Specola's new lighting system is part of a wider programme of architectural enhancement and energy efficiency undertaken in the city of Padua. This involves the new lighting system used to illuminate Giotto's frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel and the forthcoming opening of Palazzo della Ragione. These two projects are 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. 
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