Legend has it that Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty, was born in Paphos, the oldest and most important town on the west coast of Cyprus. The town’s important political and administrative role can be seen in the numerous archaeological remains that are scattered throughout it, and that is why since 1980 Paphos has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The town doesn’t just live in the past, though, as in 2017 it was also named a European Capital of Culture.
To mark this important accolade, a regeneration project was drawn up for the old town that began with the restoration, consolidation and renovation of its buildings and monuments. The old town of Paphos is much loved in Cyprus because, following the 1878 Berlin Treaty when the island was handed over to the British, it has always been a symbol of Cypriot resistance. Over the years, however, the area had slowly been abandoned, leading to its neglect and decline.
To remedy this situation, in 2017 the local authorities appealed for European funding to launch a major regeneration project.
First of all, the street network and a series of important buildings, including the town hall and school were returned to their former glory. Then, a competition was held for the design of a new lighting system, also financed by European funding. A Temporary Business Association was established to develop a lighting concept, construct the systems and install and supply the luminaires.
To set up this Association, iGuzzini involved the LDPi design studio and other companies in the project and agreed to supply the luminaires. The project presented won the competition thanks to its highly innovative approach.
LDPi, in fact, developed a project based on highlighting the area’s historical and architectural values, not through homogeneous and diffuse lighting, but with a design based on subtraction. That is to say, it reconstructs volumes and highlights architectural details by creating light lines and alternating light and shadow. The aim was to offer a very different visual experience of the old town’s buildings and monuments by night and by day.
To create these types of scenarios, a series of luminaires were chosen to ensure that the light beams were meticulously focused and that all anti-light pollution limits were observed. This was achieved by adopting spot and superspot optics and light lines. 180° and 360° versions of the Trick luminaire were used for the façades, and in some cases, these were integrated with iPro projectors located either at the bases of columns to emphasize their height or at the top or on the corners of buildings to define their volumes. To create small islands of light, in a context that remains substantially dark, Underscore InOut light lines were installed around fountains and at the bases of benches, whereas the various sculptures that adorn this area are floodlit by generally ground-installed iPro projectors. To light the commemorative columns, on the other hand, and to bring into the foreground those that run along the main street, Light Up Orbit luminaires were used.
The grassy areas and trees in the square are lit by Light Up Earth recessed luminaires.
In the pedestrian areas, where it was important to guarantee a homogeneous flow of ground-based light, Lander bollard luminaires were positioned in the pavements and specifically designed, 3-metre-high, pole-mounted Lander luminaires were installed outside the town hall.
All the luminaires are fitted with DALI technology controlled by a KNX system that allows different scenarios to be created by the municipal authorities for special occasions. This project has given back to the citizens of Paphos the joy of living and frequenting their old town once again.