The first step in approaching the project was to analyze the site in question by acquiring relevant information regarding its historical and cultural - background, particularly of an architectonic and semantic nature, useful for elaborating the lighting project. The second step was to extrapolate the situations and aspects worthy of enhancement through effective lighting, which was done in coordination with the requirements specified by the restoration project.

Surveys were carried out in the cloister and measurements taken, in daylight and after dark to better understand the environmental nature of the two situations.

The specific context, its day to day use and management, was carefully considered, with the aim of finding simple, essential solutions using high technology that will, at the same time, provide reliable guarantees with regard to the conservation aspect of the complex.

The electrical system has been designed essentially for lighting purposes, taking into consideration the problems existing within a context that is both restricted and restrictive.




















The cloister


The principal aim of the lighting project has been to reconcile the need for a correct vision of the architecture and objects present with that of conserving the traditional image of the cloister, also with regard to the maintenance of low illuminance levels, typical of historic sites.

It has also been the intention to position the light source mainly from below, projecting bands of light at opportune angles without highlighting the vault of the cloister (type 1). However, suspended luminaires (type 2) attached to the keystones of the cross vaults will also be used, aimed at dematerializing the corners of the cloister and maintaining soft lighting in the corridors. These are independent from the lighting chosen to enhance the archaeological fragments on the walls.

In particular, type 1, which represents the principal lighting system, has been integrated with a mobile security system to distance the public from the cloister walls. This solution combines minimal visual impact with maximum versatility in positioning and use, also taking possible factors of concourse into account.

The independent or combined use of the two types of luminaire, together with the potential mobility of type 1 elements, makes it possible to adjust the legibility of the spaces, above all after dark.



For the suspended luminaires (type 2) compact fluorescent light sources have been chosen. These have good color rendition, are low energy consuming and long-life, the latter an important factor in substantially reducing maintenance costs. With this in mind, these sources may also be adopted for everyday use by the community, functioning not only as artistic illumination but also for service and passage lighting. The color temperature selected for the lamps is 2700K.

For the principal system (type 1) that adopts fiber-optic lighting, the sources will consist of special low voltage halogen dichroic reflector lamps, with high color rendering and a color temperature of about 3000K. Any necessary color correction can be made by attaching special filters to the lamps.



With regard to the suspended luminaires (type 2), the use of simple egg-shaped opaque glass elements was considered opportune. These provide uniform lighting with appropriate illuminance levels for walking through the corridors and observing the architectural and archaeological elements.

The principal system (type 1) has been planned with fiber-optic lighting. These systems are made up of:

- a generator, which houses the 12v max 75W low voltage halogen dichroic reflector lamp, the filters, the cooling fan to expel hot air and the thermal protection mechanism;

- a 12v, max 100W transfomer;

- a cable harness which bundles the input ends of the fibers of the number, section and length described in the project, with the relative adjustable terminals.

The choice of fiber-optic systems offers the following advantages:

- considerably fewer obstacles;

- a reduced number of lamps with a lower energy consuming potential;

- the possibility of being able to distance the public using flexible cords that do not contain electric currents, and thereby meet the security requirements;

- the absence of technical apparatus and hot surfaces within easy reach.



The four luminaires belonging to type 2 will be located on the keystones of the cross vaults, in the position that is occupied by the present lamps.

The fiber-optic systems of type 1 will be integrated with the system for distancing the public. They consist of groups of three or four metal stanchions, connected to each other with sections of flexible steel tubing externally cladded in a black polyester covering.

One of the stanchion bases in each of the groups houses the generator, from which the bundle departs. This passes through the vertical post and, via the covered tubing, is distributed to the other stanchions, while the lighted adjustable terminals are positioned in all the bases, two or three for each base.



Planning the electrical system has not only involved a careful assessment of the elements comprising the system, but also research and study of solutions in line with the objectives of the restoration project.

The conduit paths and positions of sockets and junction boxes specified on the project drawings will however have to be verified on site during the operational phase. They depend on the possibility of penetrating the masonry and intonaco and on the possible re-use of old pre-existing tracks.

If it is necessary to install external visible conduits, the best solutions from both a technical and aesthetic point of view will be adopted.





Fig. 1 - Lighting engineering plan of ground floor.


Fig. 2 - Chandelier details.




























































Chapel of S. Barbara

The objective of the lighting project is to facilitate the legibility of the architectonic space and the artistic elements within it (portions of fresco) through technical solutions of limited visual impact and a careful choice of light sources, prioritizing their color rendition according to the surfaces to be illuminated.

For ambient lighting, a luminaire providing indirect light has been chosen, with 70W metal halide lamps with ceramic burners, high color rendition and a color temperature of 3000K, to be positioned at the window re-opened by Muñoz.

For task lighting the niches that contain fragments of fresco, two floor-recessed uplighters to project light from below have been proposed, with White-SON pearl-colored 35W lamps.

















Upper gallery

The objective of the lighting project is to guarantee the necessary illuminance levels for the use of the space, used principally as a passage way, without however neglecting the perceptive impact of the illumination of this zone on the overall nocturnal vision of the cloister. It was therefore decided to use "steplights", built into the vertical structure of the parapet, which provide suitable direct illumination of the pavement and soft lighting, from reflection, on the opposite wall.

This solution gives priority to the ground floor with respect to the upper floor without however compromising the overall legibility of the cloister space.

The corridor lighting will consist of eleven luminaires with 7W compact fluorescent lamps and a color temperature of 2700K.










1999 Coordination Monica Morbidelli
1999 Altair 4 Multimedia
1999 All the material on this site is under the copyright of the Augustinian Community of
the Monastery of Ss. Quattro Coronati