A Lighting Project for Banfi Cellar in Montalcino Stefania Sagliocco Architect, creative director of OCCOstudio, based in Montalcino, has been working for many years in the lighting sector of wine. Since 2016, its Lighting for Wine division - through collaboration with external technicians - has also offered lighting design and electrical systems, home automation and installation services - for an integrated result dedicated to the world of wine cellars. The wineries of today have become places of pilgrimage for numerous wine tourists. Unlike the past, these are not necessarily experts or sector's professionals but passionate neophytes, called “wine-lovers”. This change of "user" has also required a change in the planning paradigm and accommodate this new tourist need. If in the past, it was enough to simply illustrate a product processing space, today all this appears marginal. Now the need to offer a tasting experience is greater. The architectural place - what is a Cellar today- becomes the manifesto of a brand: it has the task of conveying the value of the raw material, its processing, its philosophy and the business reality (in many cases "family") that created it. Starting from this assumption, some marketing and hospitality strategy objectives are already being pursued in the architectural design phase.
Similar to a museum, guests must be registered, welcomed, offered toilet facilities (in a congruous number for numerous simultaneous presences), directed to the cellar rooms and exhibits in a functional way with the aid of a guide's storytelling (which generally follows the stages of grape processing). Light becomes an essential protagonist: it offers the opportunity to make people forget (with the alternation of lights and shadows), all that is superfluous for the purposes of that emotional story that is the tasting experience today. For this reason, two different lighting scenarios are generally envisaged. The first dedicated to the "workplace" and the second dedicated to "places of visit"; all of which is most often organized through home automation management protocols, which make the transition from one atmosphere to another faster and more intuitive. Both lighting scenarios have completely different characteristics because the aims to be pursued are different. The importance of light is starting today to be correctly perceived in the world of wine: more and more wineries are dedicating their attention to the lighting project and many of the existing ones are working to adapt their systems to the new emerging needs and these new awareness. In 2018 Banfi celebrated its 40th anniversary since the birth of the winery. An event that the company - founded by the Italian-American brothers John and Harry Mariani - wanted to celebrate with a series of initiatives in Italy and around the world. In Siena, Rome, Florence, Berlin, London, Milan - in the most evocative settings - there were several different events: each of these was an emotional journey through the wines that have made the history of Banfi, with tasting tables , divided by decades. In December of the same year, the tour of events ended with a moment dedicated to the whole Banfi family: a Banfi party, during which the Montalcino aging cellar was transformed into the evocative setting of this important anniversary. OccoStudio was called to create a completely made-to-measure scenography, of Art and Light, which would stage the most significant shots of the company's history and which would accompany guests to re-discover the Cellar under a renewed guise! An ephemeral project but which is still remembered today for its remarkable suggestive capacity!
PhotoCredits: Stefania Sagliocco Architetto
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