20. May 2016

Genius Luci – a world-first urban lighting museum in EUR in Rom.

Helena Conelian Gentili, Helena Gentili Lighting Design
Carlo D’Alesio, Studio D’Alesio & Santoro
Daria Casciani, Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Design – Laboratorio Luce

In the lighting design community, it is a well-known fact that light is capable of changing the perception and the meaning of a particular place or architecture. It is thus a key factor when constructing the nocturnal landscape within a city, a task that must be planned and designed with care. Despite a number of efforts on the part of the lighting community to define a more deliberate approach to illuminating urban environments, the topic is still too little considered and remains peripheral to professional discourse. As a result, its role is “invisible” to the general public.

This article describes “Genius Luci”, the winning project in an international lighting design ideas competition which was staged to spread the culture of light beyond the narrow circle of professionals and to stimulate discussion among other disciplines in order to underline the importance of creative solutions for future urban lighting environments.

The design ideas competition was entitled “Urban Lightscape – Landscapes for the Contemporary City” and it was sponsored by Consiglio Nazionale degli Architetti – Cnappc (National Council of Architects in Italy) and Aidi – Associazione Italiana di Illuminazione (the Italian Lighting Association). The challenge was to develop a new lighting system for EUR, which today is a residential and business district in Rome. The letters EUR stand for Esposizione Universale Roma because the site was originally selected in the 1930s for the 1942 World Fair, which never took place due to World War II. It is therefore a very special site in the Italian capital and full of contradictions and beauty.


The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 101

Our PLD magazine app (iPad App Store) contains a media-enhanced version


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