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The Italian National Museum of Judaism and the Shoah.

In 2017 the renovation work on the former prison house in Ferrara, destined to become one of the parts of the Italian National Museum of Judaism and the Shoah, was completed. The main aim of the project was to create a museum centre for Ferrara that is embedded in the urban fabric. The transformation of the entire complex will be radical and will include work on the city wall that can now be easily crossed thanks to numerous openings that have been made along the entire perimeter. The design idea is based on five new buildings that echo the volumes of the Torah, a central element in Jewish religious tradition.

The central structure, which is the former prison, houses temporary exhibitions, whereas the other four structures, plus the C residence, are used for permanent exhibitions and include educational workshops, a library and various display areas.

Given the museum's architectural layout and the number of completely independent spaces it features, the brief from the customer for the artificial lighting system was that it had to be especially flexible. To perfect a lighting system that would meet a wide range of requirements, iGuzzini worked closely together with the architectural studios involved. On the ground floor, track systems and Tecnica Pro projectors with flood optics were installed in the welcome zone both in the ticketing area and in some small and more complex display spaces. In other areas where general, homogeneous, direct emission lighting was required as well as the option of accent lighting and variable positioning, a combination of Laser Blade XL recessed luminaires and Palco projectors with various optics was used. The company's complete commitment was displayed in the development of a specific foreground lighting solution for the original prison house structure. This features a balcony that runs around all four sides of a particularly high internal central courtyard that the various cells face onto. The cells are now used either as offices or display areas. The Scape studio chose to cover the vertical walls of the balcony overlooking the central court and its horizontal supports with shiny metal sheets that amplify the lighting effects. A special continuous pendant system was designed for this area, in which linear modules are alternated with general emission lighting and Tecnica Pro track-mounted projector modules fitted with 54° optics, in a staggered pattern along the long sides of the building. This system allows the modules to be replaced whenever required, as the projectors can be swapped for a varying number of other direct emission modules to guarantee the flexibility requested. On the occasion of “The Jews, an Italian Story. The first thousand years” exhibition, long strips of fabric were hung across the central inner courtyard at the height of the first floor level. This meant the normal lighting effect created by the combination of direct light modules and projectors was interrupted. The architectural details and museum logo on the outside of the building are highlighted by iPro projectors.

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  • Year
  • Client
    The Italian National Museum of Judaism and the Shoah
  • Architectural project:
    Studio Arco
  • Lighting project:
  • Exhibition curated by:
    Anna Foa, Giancarlo Lacerenza, Daniele Jalla
  • Exhibition layout:
    GTRF – Tortelli Frassoni Architetti Associati)
  • Photographer
    Paolo Carlini