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Clay Paky at Christmas in Parma with the illumination of the future
Lighting Designer
Alessandra Toscani / Agenzia ".... And Arts"
Top Service / Brait Acoustic
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Clay Paky VIP 300s were used to create a new concept in illumination along the streets of Parma during the 2010 Christmas celebrations.

The project was first conceived when Alessandra Toscani made an offer to a priest in Parma who wanted to project a nativity scene onto the façade of his church (known as the “Oratorio dei Rossi”). Following this, the city council (through its appointed bodies Gecc and CCN) assessed the possibility of replacing the traditional festive illumination with projected Christmas scenes.

The artistic design was funded by the shops in the street, sponsored by IRES (the power company) and Parma city council, and was entrusted to Alessandra Toscani’s agency “…AND ARTS”, with the technical support of Giuseppe Cavatorta’s Top Service and Italo Bellocchi’s Brait Acoustic. Equipped with these luminaires, the creative team decided to innovate the concept of street lighting on Strada Garibaldi (a main thoroughfare through the old city centre) between the railway station and Piazzale della Pilotta. It is a strategic section of road for people entering or leaving the centre of town.

Twelve VIP 300s with special rain shields were installed along the street in order to cover the façades of all the overlooking buildings with their beams. The projected images were of course Christmas themes: stars and snowflakes. The creative project leaders came up with the idea of pointing the lights in the direction of the traffic (Strada Garibaldi is a one-way street) to simulate the effect of stars and snow “coming towards you”.

Alessandra Toscani, Art Project Manager of the “…and Arts” agency told us: “we were able to get a soberer and more polished result using these lights than we would have if we had used traditional illumination. There is much less light pollution: street lighting shines out in three dimensions, whereas projected images only affect the façades.”

“The projections are much more enthralling and innovative, and their effect changes according to the weather conditions: just think how advantageous projected light is during fog or snow!”

The “…And Arts” studio organizes artistic and cultural events, with the aim of designing, arranging and promoting attractions relating to the language of the arts. Its strong point has always been its distinctive identity and original ideas, which range from ancient to present-day concepts. The results are communication events that aim to involve and stimulate the awareness of those who take part in them. The use of “illumination of the future” is therefore perfectly in keeping with its corporate mission, and Alessandra Toscani was very happy to be able to realize her project.

Giuseppe Cavatorta of Top Service explained the “technical” advantages: “from the practical point of view, the system is safer, because fewer lights are more controllable and more reliable than a ‘web’ of equipment that crosses the whole carriageway. There were also considerable consumption savings: twelve VIP 300s with power factor correction allow savings of about 20 to 30% compared to traditional lighting.”

“Lastly, another factor that should not be underestimated is that installation is very much simpler. With traditional festive illumination, it is often necessary to close the road to traffic, which causes great inconvenience during the run-up to Christmas. We instead set everything up in a day and a half without blocking the road at all.”