Cathedral of S. Maria Assunta, Volterra, Italy

Cathedral of S. Maria Assunta, Volterra, Italy
2018 – 2019
Client: Diocesi di Volterra
Architect: Arch. Giorgio Bascià
Lighting Designer: Arch. Massimo Iarussi
Structural Engineer: Ing. Patrizio Giannelli
Electrical Engineer: Ing. Roberto Moretti
Photographs by: Targetti SpA

The Cathedral of Volterra, dedicated to S. Maria Assunta, was built in 1120 on a pre-existing church. Today, while preserving the original basilica layout, the Cathedral has a late-Renaissance overall image, the result of numerous interventions over the centuries.
The new lighting system was created as part of an impressive restoration project, started in 2016 in view of the ninth centenary of the consecration.
The approach to the lighting design could only be based on the utmost sobriety, to avoid the intervention interfering with the already complex historical stratification of the place.
The central nave is illuminated with alabaster lanterns, made to design, which pay homage to the city of Volterra, famous throughout the world for its alabaster work. The work of the talented local craftsmen, who have created the frame and the thin alabaster tiles, has been completed by a “technological heart”, which contains several fixtures, intended for the various lighting scenes. In addition to the backlighting of the alabaster, which creates a soft diffused light, the central element houses two professional projectors, oriented upwards and invisible from the outside, which illuminate the wonderful coffered ceiling. In addition, a tiny, narrow beam spotlight, facing downwards zenithally, marks the rhythm of the nave with light.