Maina headquarter

Maina headquarter: emphasis of light on architecture

Christmas is coming, and I have an amazing case history concerning one of the most famous Italian company, specialized in the most famous Christams cake: the panettone. The Company is MAINA and the case history talks about its new headquarter where lights give emphasis to the architecture.

A big red ribbon, symbol for joy and cheerfulness both in the West and in the Orient. That is exactly what now “wraps” the completely renovated and extended Maina headquarter to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary since the foundation of this industry in Fossano (Italy). It is called the new “house” of the panettone Nocciolato and other specialties of the confectionery industry. According to Gianni Arnaudo, the architect who designed and planned the project, the renovated Maina plant is a “architecture both an emotional and esthetically astonishing”: it immediately transmits through their symbols a sense of a feast.

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A big red ribbon penetrates the building from the outside winding into a sculptural staircase recalling the sense of feasts with a peculiar attention to detail just like a ribbon around a present, or a panettone or pandoro cake. The ribbon, symbol for the identity of the building and for the liaison between the inside and the outside. The ribbon starts at the outside with a shell structure wrapping the area of the building where production is done and goes on at the inside via an elegant spiral staircase that connects the three floors. It finally transpires at the outside through the glass walls.

Lighting concept

The lighting designers at SIMES have looked after the complete lighting project that has dressed the innovative building by enhancing the volumes that come to life when illuminated and that validate the creative concept of the famous architect. While the sinuous unwinding of the staircase is emphasized by the light transpiring from the glass walls, the lighting requirement consisted of designing an adequate exterior lighting concept to emphasize the structure of the red ribbon.

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The ribbon takes shape starting from the red walls that wrap the building: to illuminate the SIMES Lighting Designers chose the post mounted large beam diffusing TWIST luminaires; their articulated structure allow to direct the luminous beam directly onto the wall. By the same token, the sidewalk is being articulated bound by the diffused light of the Cool Square bollards that accompany the path till the main entrance of the building.

Afterwards, the ribbon goes on into the interior part along the spiral staircase that articulates in a sinuous yet decisive manner and continues anew to the exterior part vivifying a purple wall that divides the external part of the building from the interior dedicated to the traffic of loading and unloading vehicles.

To discretely illuminate the wall at the outside without interfering with the structure itself, in-ground asymmetric LINEAR luminaires are chosen. They allow to discretely direct the light beam towards the red ribbon.

In front of the main entrance there is a small pool of water; it is enhanced by MINI POOL immersion luminaires. The lights comes out of the pool and is vigorously projected onto the wall creating pleasing light effects.

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In the interior behind the red wall, in-ground SUIT luminaires mark the steps of the sidewalk that goes on till the reception entrance hall. The Maina’s offices building with high vertical and narrow windows is located on the background. LOFT wall luminaires diffusing their light beam from top downwards give rhythm to the alternation of the windows, creating a sense of a colonnade. SIMES’ choice has focused for this architecture on diffusing light beams; they enhance the shapes without interfering at all with the structure. The building is treated as if it were a sculpture, an art work, where light allows the lifelines of the colors to emerge against the shadows of the evening and with them, to bring their symbolic message of feast.

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Project Credits: Maina headquarter; Location: Fossano (CN)- Italy. Architectural project: Gianni Arnaudo Lighting Project: Simes S.p.A.  Author of the post: Erika Fratus + Blog for light.

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