Palazzo Tirso’s Lighting Design Revolution in Cagliari

Cagliari's Liberty Gem, Palazzo Tirso, now a luxury hotel with Marco Piva’s designs and Michele Schintu's lighting mastery.



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Constructed in 1926 as the headquarters of Società Elettrica Sarda in Cagliari, Palazzo Tirso has long stood as a proud example of rare Liberty-style concrete architecture on the island. Previously abandoned, the Puddu Costruzioni Group transformed it into the elegant Palazzo Tirso Cagliari – MGallery Hotel Collection 5*, with a redesign by Studio Marco Piva.

1. Interior view of Palazzo Tirso Cagliari - MGallery Hotel Collection 5* - ph. © Studio Vetroblu

The hotel’s prime location demanded a meticulous lighting design crafted by Michele Schintuessequadrop. The monumental facade and interiors are brought to life with light-intensity variations and shadow contrasts, adding dimension and highlighting specific decor elements and historical features.

Palazzo Tirso Facade: A Masterclass in Lighting Design

The intricate façade, adorned with details like the entrance mascarpone, the Four Moors emblem, and faux rusticated base, underwent a two-month design and 3D modelling process by Michele Schintu’s team. The lighting, especially at night, offers a new, captivating view of Palazzo Tirso, noticeable even from the marina.

Innovative Ground Floor Lighting

The ground floor’s lighting concept, encompassing common areas like reception, bar, and restaurant, revolves around light intensity variations. Customised pendants, made of solid, curved and milled aluminium profiles, create a physical light cut, different from the traditional opal frontal lighting.

7. The entrance of Palazzo Tirso Cagliari - MGallery Hotel Collection 5* - ph. © Studio Vetroblu

The hotel’s stairs, featuring a restored Liberty-style historic railing compliant with current standards, are juxtaposed with a modern glass elevator. Linear lighting fixtures installed overhead enhance this contrast, guiding guests along the stairwells to the room floors.

Elevated Rooftop Ambiance

The rooftop terrace is bathed in soft, subtle light, accentuating the gardening work and focusing on decorative elements like the fountain and commemorative plaque. The Cielo restaurant shines under custom LED strips with a 95 Cri colour rendering and a red-shifted emission spectrum to enhance the dishes served.

8. The rooftop of Palazzo Tirso Cagliari - MGallery Hotel Collection 5* overlooking Cagliari's marina - ph. © Studio Vetroblu

Relaxing Spa Illumination

The Occitane spa and relaxation area, set in the hotel’s semi-basement, features soft, relaxing lighting. Designers opted for floor-level lighting with screened alcoves for the corridors, as ceiling alcoves weren’t suitable. Indirect lighting brightens the massage rooms, and partially recessed parallel LED strips decorate the pool area. A unique example of how light and architecture can enhance each other while maintaining their distinctive essence.

9. The Occitane Spa inside Palazzo Tirso Cagliari - MGallery Hotel Collection 5* - ph. © Studio Vetroblu

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