• Porto Antico - Genoa
  • Porto Antico - Genoa
  • Porto Antico BEFORE
  • Porto Antico AFTER
  • Additional project: Bigo
  • Internal Streets - Before/After

The Area

After the restructuring by Renzo Piano, the Molo Vecchio Area (old quay area) is home to Genoa’s Conference Centre today one of the most prestigious and flexible Italian venues for conferences and thematic exhibitions. The Magazzini del Cotone building also house important cultural facilities such as: La città dei bambini e dei ragazzi (Children’s Town), the De Amicis Library, major European facility specialized in books and multimedia products for children and young adults, Genoa’s Port Center, the Mediterranean’s first port exhibit center, a Multiplex cinema, stores, shops, bars and restaurants. 

Porto Antico di Genova is an area of high cultural value which attracts each year millions of visitors from Italy and abroad, it’s the main touristic area of the city. In particular it is home to the Aquarium of Genoa, several museums and hosts many cultural and touristic events.

Main characteristics of the pilot project
The Illuminate pilot of Genoa Porto Antico is one of the project’s exterior areas and foresees the complete lighting renovation of two of the most prized areas of Porto Antico: the area surrounding “Cotton Warehouses’ Building” on the pier and the “Grande Bigo” positioned on the water. The Cotton Warehouses’ building were the original site of storage for the cotton bales brought in by the ships and hauled up the industrial cranes located along the wharf.  The “Grande Bigo” evokes the form of the cranes used for loading and unloading goods in the port and is the symbol of the Porto Antico Area in fact the company logo recalls the outline of its structure.
The new LED lighting systems have been installed on the harbor and the inner street side of the Cotton Warehouses’ Building, on the industrial cranes along the wharf, on the back side alley leading to the parking area and on the Grande Bigo. Porto Antico is a very lively area at night and different requirements were necessarily taken into account in the lighting design phase. The new lighting systems serve both street lighting and façade lighting purposes. The LED fixtures are required to be dimmable and controlled centrally by a timer for night/day programing functions and thus contribute to energy savings. Safety concerns are a key factor in this area because of the back roads, parking spots but also for the visitors walking around at night. The aesthetic quality of the fixtures has been considered as the sea-side promenade is a main city attraction, housing the marina and several commercial activities such as restaurants, bars and cafe’s regularly visited by tourists and residents. Also, on the inner side road new lights not present before have been put in place to enhance the building façade.

The Grande Bigo is placed on the water so the new lighting fixtures are required to be durable and particularly resilient to the harsh environment. The new lighting installation on the Bigo allows for significant savings on maintenance costs and permits a marked improvement of light quality and brightness of the architectural structure. The metering system has been implemented with new equipment and advanced software to monitor the consumption of energy and record savings.

Main reasons for the pilot

Reasons for changing to LED lights in these areas include: public safety and energy efficiency

Technical data before installation

Area involved : 16,000 m²

Total number of lighting points : 209 (HID 250W & HPL 400W for a total of 67,850 W)

Burning hours per year : 2956 - 4755 h/y

Technical data after installation

Total number of lighting points : 309 with LED lights ranging from 4.3W to 98W for a total of 23,008 W installed.


Better light quality
Brighter and more uniform lighting
Enhanced appeal of the area
Greater feeling of safety
Considerable energy savings!


62% saved on energy which results in yearly savings of almost €20,000.

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