Italian pride

Following the successful illumination at Palazzo Aeronautica, ENEL X and Griven once again together for the impressive enhancement of the symbol of the Italian Government, PALAZZO CHIGI

Located in the historic Campus Martius district, Palazzo Chigi is a Renaissance palace nowadays residence of the Prime Minister and seat of the Italian Government. Commissioned by the prestigious Aldobrandini’s family, the palace was built in the second half of the 16th century under the supervision of the architect and sculptor Giacomo della Porta. Completed in 1580, Palazzo Chigi, which still bears the name of the influential Florentine family that acquired it in 1659, underwent by that time significant modifications that led to its present architectural layout.

Initially designated as a private residence, in the course of history Palazzo Chigi has changed its purpose several times according to its different owners’ needs.  For the first few centuries, it was mainly home to important families of Papal Rome. Towards the end of the 18th century, it was mostly used as the Spanish embassy’s headquarters in Rome. In 1878 it was the official residence of the Ambassador of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, becoming headquarters of the Minister of Colonial Affairs during World War One in 1916. After its final renovation promoted by the Italian State in 1922, it has housed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for almost 40 years. Since 1961 it is the official seat of the Italian Prime Minister and of the Council of Ministers.

Palazzo Chigi, with its central and prestigious location in the heart of classical Rome, overlooks via del Corso and Piazza Colonna, taking its name from the two-thousand-year-old column of Marcus Aurelius which stands right in its centre. The clean design of the five-story structure typical of the Renaissance period features a grand staircase and an internal courtyard embellished by Giacomo della Porta’s fountain. The heritage of the Chigi family is still visible in the opulence of the applied, decorative, and fine arts collections displayed in the rooms of the palace. The precious pieces of furniture, paintings, and sculptures are a symbol of the political influence of the rich Chigi family at the time they owned the palace. The building is nowadays opened to visits, but only certain rooms and sections of it are actually accessible to the public.
Palazzo Chigi, Rome
Rome, Italy
Lighting design
Enel X Architectural Lighting Team
Luca Cioci
Following to the installation of different temporary lighting equipment promoted by the Italian government since 2020, it was finally decided to introduce a permanent illumination system that could enhance this institutional building in a proper way. ENEL X - an ENEL Group company that provides innovative products and services focused on energy transition - has tackled this ambitious lighting project in synergy with Griven. The approved concept foresaw a uniform light distribution in solid white or colored light on the main façade and sides of Palazzo Chigi, with the possibility of alternating different scenarios, including the representation of the Italian flag on the main façade, as specifically requested by the client.

To do so, 46 units of PARADE L3 Recessed linear bars in RGBW color configuration with wall wash optics have been embedded in the typical sampietrino pavements of Rome historic centre, following the main façade outline. In order to further strengthen their wall grazing effect up to the top of the building, 16 units of CAPITAL 100 RGBW with medium optics have been mounted on two dedicated poles facing the palace. The façade surface has been visually divided into 16 sections singularly entrusted to each one of the Capital 100 units for the specific enhancement of the assigned area. The combined action of recessed wall grazers and floodlights delivers a seamless, uniform light distribution that enhances the renaissance elegance of the façade in a plain but effective way. To complete the scheme, 3 units of Jupiter B in 4000K natural white are used to highlight the three flags located on the central balcony (Italian, European, and, in case of visit of foreign authorities, the flag of the visiting country).

To light up the internal courtyard, characterized by a splendid portico and walls rich in elegant friezes and decorative details, 4 units of Capital 100 and 10 of Capital 200 in 3000K warm white have been positioned on the roofs overlooking the courtyard. A series of Capital 100 at 3000K was then used to illuminate the side walls on Via dell’Impresa and Vicolo dello Sdrucciolo. Moreover, 6 units of Capital 200 mounted on the roof of the close Alberto Sordi Gallery, illuminate the façade of the building facing the very central Via del Corso.
The lighting design conceived by  ENEL X Architectural Lighting Team provides for smart and technologically advanced management of the entire system. Owing  to the use of wireless devices for the transmission of the DMX signal, it has been possible to preserve the structural integrity of the building as much as possible, while ensuring the minimum visual impact. Located in the control room, the DMX WALL-TSC control system, with 1024 output channels and the capability of storing 500 scenes in 10 different zones, allows the simultaneous management of all the lighting fixtures through one signal transmitter, three receivers and one repeater located in strategic areas. The use of a DMX 512 protocol signal, transmitted via wireless on dedicated and encrypted frequencies, has avoided invasive excavations for the passage of cables, preserving the aesthetics of the historical building. Furthermore, to ensure maximum discretion, all the lighting fixtures have been supplied in white or anthracite RAL according to their different positioning, in a custom version specific for the Italian market.

According to different occasions, it is now possible to illuminate the façade of Palazzo Chigi in the colors of the Italian flag, reproducing the Tricolore on its entire surface whenever required. The initiative, promoted on the occasion of the 159th anniversary of the Unification of Italy and repeated in 2020 to symbolize the strength of the Italian people in a very hard period, aims to reinforce the values of unity, responsibility and solidarity typical of the entire national community.  

Lighting design: Team Architectural Lighting Enel X
Installation: PELLICELLI SRL
Pictures: Luca Cioci  

Installed products:
18x CAPITAL 100 RGBW medium optics with visor, custom Class II
2x CAPITAL 100 3000K elliptical optics, custom ON-OFF Class II
5x CAPITAL 100 3000K wall wash optics, custom ON-OFF Class II
5x CAPITAL 100 3000K elliptical optics, custom ON-OFF Class II
4x CAPITAL 100 3000K elliptical wide optics, custom ON-OFF Class II
4x CAPITAL 200 3000K elliptical wide optics, RDM
1x CAPITAL 200 3000K medium optics, white RAL
1x CAPITAL 200 3000K wide optics, white RAL
10x CAPITAL 200 3000K medium optics, white RAL
46x PARADE L3 Recessed RGBW wall wash optics
2x JUPITER B RP 3000K medium optics with visor
6x JUPITER B RP 4000K medium optics
2x Start Line
2x DMX terminator
1x Infrared Remote Control
1x Wall TSC
3x IP65 2-way DMX splitter
1x DMX transmitter
3x DMC receiver
1x DMX repeater
427 Hyatt Street
Gaffney, SC 29341
Phone: (864) 487-3535