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Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year, the light festival. They could not choose a better date to celebrate a lighting project.
Last night, the Palazzo Mondadori in Segrate (Milan), designed by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, was illuminated by the Mario Nanni’s lighting design project, Mario Nanni is the founder of Viabizzuno, a famous lighting design company.
A real Summer party organized for all Mondadori employees: foodtracks entertained with a cheerful aperitivo waiting for the dark and then the light and music show took place.
My passion for the Niemeyer architecture is now well known – I went all the way to Brasilia on a pilgrimage! – so I must thank CasaFacile and its great director, Giusi Silighini, for the opportunity of being here in such as magical and exciting night.
I loved the way Ernesto Mauri, CEO of Mondadori, introduced the lighting show: “Living and working in such a place is a privilege, a fortune but also a responsibility.” Palazzo Mondadori is one of the most important architecture in the world, a true architectural monument. This year are 110 years of Mondadori (and what incredible coincidence, they would have been 110 for Niemeyer too!), and they decided to celebrate with an artistic restoration of the lighting of the building.
Light is essential, it can shape everything. Especially in architecture light has a vital importance.
Mario Nanni defined his project as “a soft floating melody” and that’s exactly what I saw in the 24-minute of the show.
24 minutes, one for each hour of the day (and each pillar), with the light that moves and changes, imperceptibly. All accompanied by live music played by a saxophone, a vibraphone and a marimba (percussion instruments).
Architecture is rhythm, it’s music, and Niemeyer is an excellent composer. When architecture meets the right light the create the perfect harmony. And here it is, architecture moves under my eyes: I can swear that arches are dancing changing their inclination, following the light, the rough concrete becomes soft fabric…
Mario Nanni has made important lighting projects but he said that this was the most difficult of his life “Facing a monumental palace with history like this requires study, respect and listening.”
Respect. Illuminating such a monument can not be a pyrotechnic spectacle. You can’t steal the scene from architecture, you can’t use its “skin” to project the light. The Palace is the true protagonist, light must reveal it, carry it out of darkness and show it in all its beauty.
There are now two Niemeyer palaces: one stands impressive (but light!) while the other dance reflected on the lake’s waters. Tell me if this is not a kind of magic or poetry!
You can watch here the whole light show: