Light and primary geometries
from the past to the present

Architectural project Open Project Bologna
Lighting project Studio Executive Scandicci


Built in the mid-80s by the Cassa di Risparmio di Bologna, the complex bears the signature of the architect and master of design Vico Magistretti. The volumes are composed by a fascinating balance of solid geometries realized in reinforced concrete in a contrasting interacting balance of shapes.


Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna – Tecnocentro Casalecchio di Reno, 1984
Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna – Tecnocentro Casalecchio di Reno, 1984

In 2016 Generali Real Estate SGR S.p.A. strongly believed in the potential of this area, investing in a radical transformation and regeneration of the entire area and writing a new chapter in the history of this complex.

The important and difficult re-qualification was coordinated by Open Project studio in Bologna, Italy, a studio with considerable experience in the recovery of disused sites. Their design approach resulted in new destination use of the site that was  able to merge the initial concept of the architect Magistretti and revitalizing one of the main ideas in which he firmly believed in:

I am interested in maintaining the history, redesigning excellent traditional models so as not to let them die like an old endangered species. Modified for our needs, bring back to present a memory that would otherwise be lost." (Magistretti)

The complex of about 16,000 square meters, is characterized by dynamic environments that can be modified according to their use. Developed around bright inner courts, it is surrounded by green spaces, car parks and services such as restaurants and an auditorium. This complex is actually a hub with an innovative and high-tech vocation; a completely renewed space that welcomes young and dynamic companies linked to the world of technology. 


Lighting concept


The challenge launched to Simes was extremely complex:  achieve the maximum balance between functional lighting, to ensure a safe and conscious movement in the area, and architectural lighting, to reveal the architectural peculiarities of the building. In few words, maintain a message of sobriety but emphasize the new technological vocation of the building, without neglecting the need to achieve a low energy impact and respect the investment and budgets.

The lighting concept imposed the use of minimal and non-invasive products, able to respect the ambitious idea of dialogue with the elegance and simplicity of the architecture and of the whole complex.

"Semplicity is the most difficult thing" (Magistretti)


This design perfectly matches with Simes' philosophy, that goes through the research for rigorous and aesthetically pure products. The luminaries selected embodies the essence of this formal synthesis: the circle, the square, the triangle become leitmotiv even within the lighting design. Their 'primary geometries' give light, define space, design the architecture, and they discreetly become part of the scene. 


Minireef bollard with 180° beam is characterized by an excellent visual comfort, great strength and optical precision. It has been chosen to illuminate the driveway leading the visitor to the parking area and the service areas located on the back. Its cylindrical shape is in perfect relation with the particular curved roof of the building used for catering services.


The court facing the main volumes represents the beating heart of the entire project. For this wide outdoor living room the choice was Poster, an urban lighting element with a 2D aluminium structure and a central void that define its elegance maintaining its functionality and resistance.  The contrast between solids and lit voids expressed through minimalist design create pleasant atmospheres with visual comfort perfectly fitting the urban exteriors from the past to the present. 


The Simes Poster pole tops are randomly positioned in the large central courtyard and are oriented with various angles for a complete and open dialogue with the volumes of the architecture. The diffusion of light is comfortable and even in the darkest hours, it manages to characterize this communal area, transforming it into a common public area of congregation and dialogue. 


A number of ZIP recessed spotlights placed at the base of the supporting pillars, dictate the rhythm of the façade. The scheme is interrupted by a symbolic tower, that's also the unique element  modifying the original project with it vertical expansion. To emphasize the monolithic presence at night, the MOVIT projectors were selected. Thanks to a great uniform distribution of the light, the tower can be fully perceived also by night, in its full volume and wrapping texture. 


Park pole top version has been chosen for functional lighting in the parking and pedestrians areas. A simple and rational lighting that fits perfectly in the overall image of the new structure.
The possibility of mounting Park on existing poles, both in single or double configuration, is an extremely interesting plus leading to a good optimization of costs, without sacrificing the quality of an extremely performing LED pole top head.


Today, the new HUB allows to revive a place that has not only converted its functions but has preserved its essence being projected into the future and seeking a new quality of its spaces.
Light is an integral part of this recovery process leading to a renewed image, to extend over time the possibilities of new meetings and relationship, to ensure the safety and well-being of those who will live and enjoy the new spaces.


These and many other solutions represent Simes' response to the lighting designer's need to illuminate the space adjacent to a valuable architecture with comfortable light. If you wish to receive more information, do not hesitate to contact us. You can also book a digital meeting to focus with us on your specific project.


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