Expo Bridge - Rho

EXPO 2015

Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel

Milan, Italy

Outdoor, Infrastructure

- sqm

Leo Torri

The three bridges complex is located in the northern outskirts of Milan and apart from an important infrastructure for the city it represents an iconic view being almost the threshold to the site that would accomodate the globally known event of EXPO 2015. Therefore, the lighting project and the resulting nightscape was a crucial image for Milan’s effort being the protagonista round the world.
The idea for illuminating such a sculptural bridge was based on underlining the underlying architect’s intention: revealing at night time the clean and sleek geometry of the bridge giving out a seemingly eery, light and effortless image.

For achieving such an effect, the strategy was to using homogeneous and continuous light only on the intrados of the arches, accentuating the continuity between the bridges units.
Simple as it may seem, this lighting project was highly complex for two reasons: given the significant dimensions every bridge arch was divided in various segments and each segment had dedicated light fittings with the adequate light output and beam angle in order for the light effect to be homogeneous alla long the arch.
For concealing the fittings, they were integrated in the bridges base basin and inside the handrail of the bridge. The result also in daytime view was an architectural infrastructure without visible lighting fittings becoming a luminous ribbon at night.
The selection of the light sources was thought in order to reduce the maintenance requirements for relamping and of course due to the necessary light levels, sustainability was also a major factor, leading to the selection of LED technology. Various mockups were made and a lot of samples had been tested in order to identify the correct balance between the effects along the arch ensuring also the quality of light.
Illuminating such a big scale architectural feature had been demanding but also extremely rewarding since even after the EXPO event, this magic night image is still the threshold to Milan at a territorial scale.
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