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Clay Paky lights the Palazzo Fendi in the centre of Rome
Lighting Designer
arch. Amerigo Antonelli
MarianoLight, Altair/Sirio
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During the Christmas holidays, the principal Fendi point-of-sale in Rome became a veritable attraction, not only due to the richness and prestige of the products that it displays in its maison, but also for having lit the Palazzo that hosts it with CP Color units from Clay Paky. Sited in Largo Goldoni, at the junction of Via Condotti and Via del Corso, the building that everybody now calls “Palazzo Fendi” – since the famous high fashion brand has installed its showroom there – is one of the major meeting points in the full centre of Rome.

Already in 2006 Fendi management had opted for the “luminous” turn, providing the Palazzo with a large “light belt”, reproduced in 3D with the Christmas lights, developed and installed by MarianoLight di Lucio Mariano, with headquarters in Corigliano d’Otranto (LE).
After the outstanding success of 2006, this year MarianoLight wanted to push itself still further: the basic idea was that of making the Palazzo change colour, attempting to make the “glitter” effect of the belt rise up, converting it into the light symbol of the “shopping stroll” par excellence of the capital.

MarianoLight therefore studied the project with Architect Amerigo Antonelli and decided to entrust itself to a company that knew how to combine spectacular lighting skills with that of architectural lighting for exteriors. After a careful study of the applications already developed, MarianoLight identified Clay Paky as the optimum partner.

The Altair company of Pietro Tondello, one of the most active distributors of Clay Paky in Italy, therefore entered the game. Pietro Tondello, strong with thirty years experience in the distribution and installation of professional lighting products, two years ago decided with his children Alessandro and Silvia to found Sirio, specializing it in details in the furnishings sector.

It was thanks to this round of collaborations that the lighting job of the Palazzo Fendi was born: Altair and Sirio, under the supervision of Architect Antonelli and Fendi’s visual merchandiser Luca Albero, carried out a series of technical tests at the beginning of 2007, to make sure that the maison’s managers were convinced of the desired light effect. At the third attempt it was decided to install 25 Clay Paky CP Color 150-E units along the balcony that surrounds Palazzo Fendi on 3 sides.

The CP Color units are colour changers for exteriors (IP65), able to produce infinite tones of colour thanks to the CMY colour production system, based on the gradual overlapping of diachroic glass filters of the three prime colours. Thanks to their properties of colour production and resistance to weather agents, the CP Color units were the best products for the required application.

The light effect was to involve 3 sides of the Palazzo simultaneously, in the upper part of the building, between the balcony and the ceiling. The CP Color units were therefore connected with a Master/Slave system, so as to guarantee perfect synchronization of the colour change. After this, the choice of colours was decided: “Fendi” yellow, specifically requested by the management, red evoking Christmas and blue-violet. The passage from one colour to another was done at programmed intervals, with slow dissolution.

Even from very far away, this alternation of colours acted as an extraordinary appeal for the thousands of Romans and tourists that thronged the streets of the centre during the period of the Christmas festivities, making Palazzo Fendi an equal attraction to the artistic beauties the capital can boast of.

Lucio Mariano was very satisfied: “Our objective has always been that of obtaining surprising effects, pushing our creations beyond the limits of tradition using the most advanced lighting”.

Architect Amerigo Antonelli said: “I’m very satisfied with the result achieved, we managed to obtain any colour shading we wanted with the CP Color units, including the shade of yellow that identifies the Fendi brand. I’m also convinced that the lighting enhancement of the Palazzo Fendi translated into a major image investment for the company”.

Pietro Tondello of Altair echoed him: “I’ve been working with Clay Paky products for years, which have always allowed me to offer suitable solutions to the customer and at the same time guaranteeing me great reliability. The CP Color units, in particular, are fantastic, versatile and very resistant colour changers, a true extra gear in all the architectural installations that I have carried out throughout Italy”.