The former San Panfilo Convent in Abruzzo, converted to a farm, comes back to life thanks to L&L Luce&Light technology

Between the hills and the sea, Spoltore is an Abruzzi village of ancient medieval origins, rich in history, art and culture. The ancient main church, dedicated to the town's patron saint San Panfilo, is called 'entro le mura' (within the walls) to distinguish it from the Convent of San Panfilo 'fuori le mura' (outside the walls), built by the Benedictines in the 11th century, a monastic complex until 1866. It underwent a major metamorphosis during the 15th century: the Franciscans transformed the interior into the current three-armed structure with a central cloister. Purchased by the Cerulli Irelli family in 1892, it became a private residence in 1912.

Respect for the genius loci

In 2009, restoration work began on the entire complex, overseen by architects Armillotta, Palmieri and Santomauro of the CASaAssociati studio. Recently completed, the work has returned the building to its ancient beauty, converting it to tourism, agritourism and receptive activities within the framework of the farm's functions, while respecting the history and architecture present: the original structures have been preserved and new areas have been created while respecting the ancient genius loci. The complex configuration derives from historical events and the stratification of interventions over the centuries: the objective was not to damage the architectural and artistic heritage in any way, providing the building with the new functional elements required by the client.

The lighting project

An important chapter is that of the lighting design, also supported by the L&L Luce&Light team with solutions supplied by the Venetian company: in the internal area of the cloister, delimited by the three levels of the convent and the church, the main request was to highlight a series of architectural elements, such as cross vaults, bays, and capitals, while keeping the frescoed walls unaltered and unobstructed. To this end, Ella Out outdoor wall lights were used, which, facing upwards, not only give rhythm to the space, but do not project light directly, but reflect it onto the vaults and frescoes, illuminating them uniformly. The typical colour of the building's bricks is recalled by the red-brown Cor-ten finish of the luminaires, which blend in with the architecture and context.

Ambient light and direct light

In the cloister's inner perimeter, a number of Ginko 2.0 projectors, positioned at the mullioned windows, create ambient lighting, while Ginko 3.0 projectors, at the four corners of the cloister, produce a direct light that enhances the central well.

Giving volume to rooms

In the cellar, spotlights were installed that were chosen for their corrosion-resistant characteristics and are suitable for use in damp environments: Spot 2.4 models, in anthracite colour, oriented on the brick vaults, create a diffuse and warm light that can give volume to the room and make it cosy.

Giving light to the outdoors

Outdoors, to obtain a soft, diffuse light while keeping the walls free of luminaires, Spot 2.4 spotlights, positioned in the greenery and installed on pegs, to illuminate exterior façades without contrasts. In the garden, camouflaged in the vegetation thanks to the mineral green finish, Spot 3.4 projectors to illuminate trunks from below: some luminaires fixed to branches illuminate the foliage, others the lawn.

Enhancing verticality and convexity

In the porch, overlooking the garden, Geko outdoor wall lights in different versions are fixed to the columns: in the outdoor part, Geko 5.1 is oriented downwards to enhance the verticality of the pillars, in the indoor part, Geko 6.0 allows the slight convexity of the ceiling to be appreciated.

Photocredits: Fabio Di Carlo