The setting is Monte Calvario, a hill west of Gorizia, on the right bank of the Isonzo river. During the First World War, it was the scene of violent clashes between the Italian and Austro-Hungarian armies. Today, rather, it is home to one of the most important locations on the Friulian wine scene. It is here that the Cantina Podversic Damijan is located. Under the guidance of the young winemaker Damijan and his wife Elena, organic wines have been produced here since the late-1980s, created with particular attention to natural winemaking techniques, avoiding all processes for standardisation of the end product. Not for nothing, the winery’s philosophy is the total respect for the environment and its ecosystem, seeing operations in the vineyard and in the cellar dictated by the phases of the moon along with the use of wooden barrels and vats.
The cellar has been completely redesigned and renovated by Architect Ignazio Vox who, for this project, followed three precise directions received from the winemaker directly, namely to create a cathedral of wine, to ensure there is constant humidity and no thermal shocks, and to have an elliptical form to prevent the formation of mould in the corners. The result is an underground structure in concrete, stone, porphyry, weathering steel and wood that fully reflects the producer’s philosophy: to impact on the surrounding environment as little as possible. Hence, from a distance, the cellar seems to almost disappear. Its presence is perceived, albeit very discreetly and in perfect symbiosis with the territory, only upon approach. For this very reason, the lighting project created by Architect Massimiliano Zanon was developed by favouring solutions capable of diffusing a discreet and suffused light, which did not overwhelm the natural beauty of the location but rather enhanced it in some way.
For the lighting project, Architect Zanon availed of Linea Light Group’s professional products along with consulting the design team of the Treviso company with which he collaborated. The project saw the use of various solutions, both indoors and outdoors, with the aim of creating lighting that was proper yet discreet, able to ensure the staff could work indoors in complete comfort and safety (for this reason, certain products specific for the outdoors were also used inside the cellar) whilst the lighting outdoors would not impact the environment.
The lighting project starts from the entrance, where there are Portik downlights that signal the pathway in a functional manner, along with the Iris67 projectors with precise optics to highlight the main entrance with the door in weathering steel.
Continuing to the heart of the cellar, where the barrels are to be found, the light seems to play with the forms. In fact, alongside the rectangular Alux watertight ceiling lights, Tour suspension lights have been installed with a customised elliptical version which, whilst following and emphasising the form of the cellar itself, also create a pleasing contrast of shapes. Dimmable both above and below, as well as being waterproofed to counteract the effects of the humidity necessary in the cellar for proper vinification, the Tour lights can also be lowered or raised according to the needs at any given moment.
To illuminate the areas dedicated to processing and bottling in conditions of elevated humidity, the Prolamp projector proved to be the winning solution. Indeed, it ensures perfect lighting for operating safely and with the right degree of comfort, without any annoying glare.
Passing through the area reserved for visitors, rather, you will find the Baton suspension lights with a minimal and yet elegant design. Attention to detail can also be seen in the areas immediately adjacent and dedicated to cellar workers. There is the staff kitchen, for example, located to the left of the entrance, that has been illuminated with the Diphy, whilst in the offices found to the right of the entrance, the Opti line suspension lights – like the Diphy – exploit the OptiLight technology, guaranteeing a very soft yet pointed and enveloping emission, without any glare.
Finally, to illuminate the service areas, both the OptiWall wall lights were installed on the concrete walls along with the Skinny wall lights. Both products take advantage of OptiLight Technology and are invisible when switched off.
Various products were also installed for the outdoor lighting project. Starting from the parking area and the external boundary areas, the Opti-Pole design bollard makes its self seen thanks to its minimal aesthetics, fine finishes and especially its OptiLight Technology. For the transit areas, serving both vehicles and pedestrians, the Vuelta projector light was favoured for maximum flexibility in installation together with precise and controlled light emission.
Finally, on the approach to the entrance, there are two step-markers, being the Footpad with a customised weathering steel-like coating, which ensures a low-down light to further emphasise the area and Quara65_QI, as a drop of light carved into a lamp body, which illuminates and decorates thanks to the radial optics and the oval emission, used as a step-marker inside the coating of the wall that flanks the pathway leading towards the cellar entrance.
Lighting design: Architect Massimiliano Zanon
Products: Tour (Custom Ellittico 4x2m), Diphy, Opti line, Baton, Skinny, Portik 8W, Alux, Prolamp, Opti-Pole, Iris 67, OptiWall, Vuelta, Quara QI and Footpad (in a custom version).