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Pórtico de la Gloria

Location: Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Lighting Design: Arkilum (Ignacio Valero)
Photography: O/M, Álvaro Valdecantos
Year: 2021

For its Jubilee in 2021, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain unveiled its new interior lighting scheme.

Developing a project in such an historically important location presented unique challenges, undertaken over four years by lighting designer Ignacio Valero and his team from the studio Arkilum in Madrid. In collaboration with Valero, O/M developed a custom solution for the Portico of Glory, the original Romanesque door to the cathedral, dating from 1188.



The design features a sequence of 104 micro-projectors, equipped with primary lenses, snoots, and optical filters, achieving very narrow light beams (between 5º and 10º). The beams accent each sculpted figure while reducing glare for visitors. The 22mm-diameter micro-projectors, with 8 variable lengths from 16 to 40cm, were positioned 6 meters away from the Portico, reflecting 25 to 40 lux on the figures in the arches. The superior LEDs (3000K CRI>97) reproduced the delicate polychrome pigments on the sculptures with impressive fidelity. These original 13th-century paintings were uncovered after a 12-year restoration project.

Due to the complexity of this project, on-site testing was essential to understand if any modifications were required and, if so, to be able to implement them quickly.


Besides it's functionality, the luminaire is a metaphor to the Cathedral's architectural elements.



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