Article The Catholic Life of 11/07/2009 – “The Cathedral shines with light”

Inauguration of the new lighting system of the Cathedral – by Stefano Damiani:

It will be the song of the first vespers of Sts. Ermagora and Fortunato – presided over on Saturday 11 July at 20.30 by the archbishop of Udine – the occasion for the inauguration of the completion of the new lighting system of the Cathedral of Udine. Already on June 26th there was a first inauguration with the spectacular lighting of artistic lighting. Instead, the lights used for the liturgical service will be turned on for the first time.

The plant, commissioned by the parish of Santa Maria Annunziata, was designed by the architect Giorgio Della Longa, with his colleagues Stefano Forte, Leonardo Miani (who recently passed away and to whom Della Longa wanted to dedicate “this common work”), Daniela Pittore , Giovanni Sgaravatto, with the advice of Dania Nobile and Don Sandro Piussi. The execution was entrusted to the Elettrosystem company from Buischio and, for the sound system, to the Ftf Elettronica di Falda.

The guiding idea of ​​the project, explained the architect Della Longa, was to use artificial light to highlight architecture and art, but also to enhance the liturgy. A “delicate balance”, therefore.

Therefore, no attempt was made to create theatrical or museum lighting. “In this church – exemplifies Della Longa – the altarpiece by Tiepolo is certainly a work of art, but it is a work placed in an altar and not in an aseptic container that protects and shows it. That altarpiece is primarily in the service of faith. And so it was illuminated, with its altar, not isolated from the altar itself “.

“This light – Della Longa continued – does not want to be a protagonist, it does not want to prevaricate the context in which it is inserted. Instead, try to comment on it, at most to enhance it. In fact, what can we add today to the theater that replaced the previous space in the eighteenth century? The light can, however, make some theatrical devices proper, appropriately filtered. And this has been tried to do.” Here then, for example, the illumination of the side altars of the presbytery.


DATA: 200 light sources

Among the guiding principles that guided the design of the new lighting system there is also that of energy saving. “Too many ecclesiastical buildings – explained Della Longa – are negatively characterized by the immoderate use of low efficiency and therefore high consumption sources” .

Here then that, despite the fact that the “lighting fixtures” are now about double the 117 in the old system, the total consumption of the system at full capacity is 13 kW compared to 18 of the previous one. “There was therefore a reduction of about a third – added Della Longa -, but in reality the reduction is much greater if we consider the extreme flexibility of management of the current plant”.

This was possible because the project mainly incorporates the products offered by technological evolution, in particular LED sources and sources with high luminous efficiency components. “Against a higher initial cost, this choice entails a sensitive management economy due to both energy savings and lower maintenance costs”.