A game of light and seating appears in the urban nerve center of Piazza della Libertà in Bergamo, together with Brescia Italian Cultural Capital for 2023, interacting with the palazzo from which the square takes its name, and creating an unexpected gathering place in a space that seemed to almost be forgotten.
The installation Lights On by the studio Objects of Common Interest (Eleni Petaloti and Leonidas Trampoukis, architects and designers who live and work in Athens and New York) perfectly interprets the theme of the cultural capital: The Illuminated City. At the same time, it adds original stimuli for reflection and tools for the reinvention of urban reality.
Selected as the result of an international contest organized by Confindustria Bergamo, Comune di Bergamo and GAMeC (Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea), and supported by the municipality of Bergamo, the project combines a sculptural character with the need for community participation, creating a welcoming and functional space for all those who will experience the square during this year of events.
“Lights On,” says the mayor of Bergamo Giorgio Gori, “represents some of the most characteristic values and themes of the Illuminated City: the industrious spirit of the territory, its creative and entrepreneurial fabric, the drive towards innovation and renewal that are all parts of our identity, allowing the city to put the spotlight on a square that during 2023 will broaden the urban ‘center’ thanks to culture, with the restoration of Palazzo della Libertà and its purposing as a site of cultural excellence, based on the agreement the city has made with the Public Property Agency.”
Organized on multiple levels, the work has an impressive luminous sculpture as its fulcrum, sinuous, flexible and apparently soft but actually very sturdy. The fountain at the center of the square can be observed from an unusual close perspective thanks to a raised pavement made with recycled tires offering a panoramic view of the entire area.
The installation is completed by a series of seats made with salvaged multicolored marble and recycled resin. All the parts of Lights On have been selected to be recycled and reutilized. The lighting elements and seating can be reassembled in different ways, also in other contexts.
“With this installation,” says the designer Eleni Petaloti, “we gave set out to reactivate a public space, transforming it into a livelier environment, in the square of the ‘illuminated’ city that can become an inspiration and a source of joy for the inhabitants. We have also developed the theme of the relationship between the community and its natural resources, bringing out the value of a city that ‘invents’ on the basis of what it already possesses, deriving solutions from its own past and its own cultural heritage.”
All photos, unless otherwise stated, © FTfoto