Hall of Storms – Galata Maritime Museum

LocationGenoa, Italy
ApplicationMuseums and exhibitions
Projectarch. Mirella Vivioli

Exploring five centuries of life and adventures on the high seas: in August 2004, while Genoa was a European Capital of Culture, the Galata Museo del Mare opened its doors to the public. The museum, located in the area of Genoa's old harbour (“Porto Antico”), is currently the largest maritime museum in the Mediterranean.

Its name comes from the Galata district of Istanbul, which, until the mid 15th century, was one of the largest Genoese communities in the Mediterranean. At the end of the 19th century, when the Municipality of Genoa built a district of commercial piers, the oldest of these was given the name of the Turkish colony. During the 20th century, “the Galata” ceased to be used commercially and was abandoned. At the end of the 1990s, the Municipality decided to use it as the location for Genoa's maritime museum. 

Inside the museum, old and contemporary architecture sit side by side, giving the building a new identity: crystal and steel create an enchanting impression of spaces empty and full, made of light and shadows.

One of the latest rooms to be opened to the public is the particularly evocative 4D Hall of Storms (Sala della Tempesta in 4D) in which visitors can board a lifeboat during a storm at sea. The future castaways find themselves in a dark room, lit only by a single strong light pointing at the ceiling, where a lifeboat – an original 19th-century whaling ship, complete with all its equipment – hangs upside down. The visitors are then invited to board another lifeboat and attempt to row to safety. Strong gusts of wind envelop them in a multi-sensory experience that merges history and boating, in a highly atmospheric setting.

For this room’s dramatic lighting, the choice fell on a number of LED lighting fixtures from LED L&L Luce&Light. In particular, Gem projectors in 3000K LED colour and 25°–40° optics illuminate some of the glass showcases and the display panel at the entrance. Pivot 1.7 projectors in blue or 3000K white LED and 11°–34° optics are used to light the way for visitors entering and leaving the room, as well as the room itself and the whaling ship. Inside the lifeboat, there is a blue LED Simply recessed uplight with a pearl chrome finish.

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