It was not easy to satisfy the demands of the architects, Studio Zacchiroli Associati of Bologna; nor was it simple to use light to underline the quality of the architecture and landscape at Palazzo di Varignana Resort & Spa in Castel San Pietro Terme, surrounded by 20 hectares of parkland in the hills outside Bologna. The spa is a very complicated structure, because in its current form it is a blend of new and restored buildings, ancient constructions and contemporary additions – complex volumes characterised by specific architectural features. Platek succeeded in responding to this great challenge with development and skilful, integrated use of highly efficient technical lighting solutions offering outstanding performance, providing an accurate, concrete response to the demands of the project. A complex project because of the type of structure and the prestigious quality of the facility, as well as the need to underline a concept developed around the essential theme of balance between the natural and the artificial. Designed to fit harmoniously into the natural environment, the complex includes underground and semi- underground volumes perfectly integrated into their beautiful natural and historical surroundings, of which visitors can enjoy the views from the new buildings constructed alongside the perfectly preserved historic building, Villa Bentivoglio.
The goal of the technical lighting project was to emphasise the key features of the volumes built on this steep ground, underlining the alternation of solid bodies and hollows originating out of the position of buildings of different heights and roof levels, while also underlining the materials and textures identifying the different structures. From the hotel rooms scattered around this elegant little hamlet to the new volume containing the pool & lounge, the spa, the reception area and the restaurant; from the Spazio Belvedere, a multipurpose 400 sqm building for hosting events and ceremonies, to the historic 18th century villa dominating the landscape from above. Underlining architectural beauty with light through lighting design that must also be reconciled with the unique nature of the big park that surrounds the facility, the focus of much attention in the form of protecting the park’s trees by replacing withered old trees with species better suited to the new landscape and architecture. The main goal of the lighting design project was therefore to underline the architectural forms with comfortable yet dramatic lighting that would immerse visitors in a magical atmosphere while at the same time ensuring proper practical use of the spaces, passageways, stairways and access routes to the facility.
Platek’s lighting design, with the consulting services of Around Light, made it possible to add to the sensation of comfort and well-being visitors and guests experience in the facility with highly evocative routes, including secret itineraries! An underground passageway, which visitors may access on request, accompanies guests to various areas in the location, from the gardens to the historic villa or from the avenue to the parking spaces, guaranteeing convenient sheltered access for both staff and visitors in the event of bad weather. The pedestrian route culminates in one of the top attractions of Palazzo di Varignana Resort & Spa, the splendid underground icehouse at the southeast side of Villa Bentivoglio: a fascinating place, different from every perspective, from which the visitor rises back to the surface full of hope for the view that unfolds at the end of the underground passageway. This difficult context with low temperatures and very high humidity required all the technical skill and design sensibility of the Platek team to create surprising light effects while guaranteeing the efficiency, resistance and robustness of the lighting products installed. The icehouse is only one part of the overall lighting design project, in which Platek worked side by side with the architects and the clients to choose the best solutions, select the best positions and orientations, and determine the light sources and intensity of the light.
The company from Rodengo Saiano used a great variety of different light fixtures in the Palazzo di Varignana Resort & Spa project. Tetra Continuo 900 longitudinal lights mounted recessed in the pavement accompany visitors safely and confidently along the walkways and passageways, while the discrete elegance of Tris in the little bollard version lights up the staircases and green areas outside the buildings 360°. Spot 200 cylindrical ceiling lights and square Special lights provide functional light in the viewpoints, jutting constructions and passageways; recessed Oblò lights positioned on the ceiling provide light and visual continuity to the structural outlines of the building and accentuate the entrances and views of the exterior.
To underline the architectural elements, volumes and jutting parts of the building, and the trees and dense vegetation around it, 1200 Mini lights are recessed in the pavement, while special solutions and products for immersion in fresh water are used in the pool that surrounds the Resort.
From Area 140. Read all the magazine here.