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Gio Ponti Relight / Guided tours in English

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San Francesco d’Assisi al Fopponino church

Via Paolo Giovio, 41

Milano

Italy

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After 30 years, the San Francesco d’Assisi al Fopponino church in Milan, for whose interior Gio Ponti and Olivari collaborated on the Cono door handle, will now once again be illuminated in the way Ponti intended.

MILAN (Italy) - Design week
16-22 april 2018

35 tickets available each day
Guided tours in English
Check-in 8:15 pm
Visit 8:30 pm till 9:15 pm


The church is open and visitable 7 days per week
from 8.00 am to 12.30 am and from 4.00 pm to 8.30 pm


Olivari has offered to bring Ponti’s lamps back “to light” by wielding its technological and artisanal expertise toward their restoration.

The 20 brass suspension lamps lining the church’s central nave were disused in the 1980s in favour of new brighter lamps. Fitted with metal-halide bulbs, these powerful latter-day spotlights badly distorted Ponti’s original spatial concept and its intimate atmosphere.
Over the years, the old brass lamps had oxidised and blackened, losing the luminous, elegant finish with which they had been designed.

In agreement with the cultural heritage department of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milan, a two-pronged approach was pursued.
The first was the restoration of the metal components’ original appearance by using products that would guarantee good stability over time. The second was to substitute the neon light sources with a technologically advanced system that would have a longer life and be less costly in electricity requirements.

The final aim was to rehabilitate the meditative atmosphere Gio Ponti had strived to obtain when he designed both the lamps and the window apertures in such a way as to bathe the church in suffusive light. Olivari has now restored the hanging lamps and their light, elegant aesthetics to their former splendour.

The restoration began with the lamps’ metal structure, and was executed at the Olivari factory. The first step was to determine the type of finish that had originally been applied to the brass. This was analysed in the laboratory. After sanding and grinding the surface to remove the layer of oxidation, the brass half-cylinders were satined horizontally, coated with transparent varnish and heated in a furnace. This will allow the lamps to maintain their fresh beauty for many years to come.

Technical update
In parallel Olivari devised a system of low-voltage LED strips to provide the same number of lumens emitted by the high-voltage loops of neon originally mounted inside each semi-cylindrical brass element. The LED strips, which diffuse soft, warm light, were positioned inside invisibly, attached by Velcro so as to be easily replaceable.



From 16 to 22 April during the Furniture Fair, the Olivari company is pleased to offer guided tours of the San Francesco d'Assisi al Fopponino church in Milan, designed by Gio Ponti and built between 1961 and 1964.

The visits will be led by the architects Alessandro Sartori and Stefano Suriano of the Ad Urbem agency, specialised in the promotion and diffusion of information on modern Milanese architecture.
For this occasion, they have attentively studied the documents preserved in the parochial archives. In addition, a number of citizens who witnessed the church being erected in the 1960s have been interviewed, and their stories and anecdotes have resurrected many interesting details of Ponti's project.
Part of this material is featured in the booklet Gio Ponti Relight, which gives an overview of the main architectural elements and interior furnishing.
After their guided tour, visitors will be offered a complementary copy of the publication and a reproduction of an original drawing by Ponti's office.
The 30-minute guided tours are free of charge, and take place from 8:30 to 9:15 pm, check-in at 8:15 pm. Each tour is conducted in two groups of up to 35 people – one in English and one in Italian.
The church is located at Via Paolo Giovio 41, and is open and visitable every day from 8:30 to 12:30 and from 16:30 to 20:30.


More info: https://www.olivari.it/en/gio-ponti-relight/

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San Francesco d’Assisi al Fopponino church

Via Paolo Giovio, 41

Milano

Italy

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