Enel, the art of light

Published on Monday, 23 October 2017

Public lighting has played a key role in the history of modern cities: from the first gas street lamps, which gave back the streets to the citizens, to electricity, without which our current civilization would not exist. Now is the time to look beyond. For the intelligent cities of the future there is a need for a new culture of lighting, capable of combining efficiency and aesthetics, technology and beauty, safety and sustainability. This is the challenge for Enel, which for the past 20 years has been providing a new light to buildings, churches, museums, villages and gardens in some of the most famous locations in the world.

Enel’s commitment has been recognised today with a nomination for the Corporate Art Awards 2017. Organized by Luiss University (with the support of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Tourism, Confindustria, Museimpresa and Ales), the competition acknowledges the companies that support art and culture as an expression of Corporate Social Responsibility. 

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Our Group has created over 1300 projects relating to art, including projects for such well-known locations as the Pantheon in Rome, the Alcázar of Seville, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the archaeological area in Pompeii and the wonderful Sagrestia Vecchia of San Lorenzo in Florence, one of the absolute masterpieces of the Renaissance.

Alongside these great names are buildings that although not famous have been enhanced by our interventions: this is the case, for example, of the Palacio de Amboage in Madrid, home to the Italian embassy, or the Roman Athenaeum in Bucharest, the most prestigious concert hall in Romania, where the excellent acoustics are complemented by evocative lighting effects.

The challenge of lighting today is to create modulated solutions that meet the specific requirements of each space, in which the lighting is a critical, discrete and selective device, capable of identifying spaces and architecture. Our projects respect the identity and history of individual locations but with solutions that are integrated into the urban context, combining green culture and experimentation with evolved, sustainable technology and innovation, energy saving and security.

Forward-looking technology then must correspond with contemporary architecture. In Alessandria, we developed the lighting for the futuristic Cittadella Bridge, created by American architect Richard Meier. In 2015 we were the official partner of the Milan Expo 2015, making a decisive contribution to create what was defined as the world’s first ever smart city.

With projects in Spain, France, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia, Brazil, Chile and Columbia, we are one of the leading companies in lighting on a global level. Our clients also include 3700 Italian councils, from large cities like Bologna, to small towns, and more than 2 million light sources, equal to over 20% of the national market.

Of our leading products, worth mentioning is Archilede, a name that, in addition to the LED at the heart of the technology, recalls also the first great scientist that studied light and its potential. Archilede was developed to ensure maximum energy saving (up to 80% compared with traditional technology) but also the diffusion of illumination and a light that is pleasant to look at.

Sustainability can also be found in light: Archimedes would be proud.

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