Polimoda School of Fashion

Florence, Italy

The historical mews of Villa Favard, located in the heart of Florence, was restored and equipped with innovative technological solutions for hosting the students of this prestigious “school of fashion”.


In 2011 this 18th Century mews in Florence was renovate to house classes for hundreds of students from around the world. Part of the specification for the refurbishment was to making some significant improvements to optimizing and equipping the instructional spaces, with the explicit intent of offering students a unique context in which to develop creativity, inventiveness, and talent.

In particular, there was a requirement for an innovative lighting system capable of exploiting natural light as much as possible in the classrooms, thus maximizing both comfort and energy savings. A Helvar Lighting Control System was chosen.


The classrooms have large glass windows and serve different purposes during the day, so they are equipped with a lighting system able to smartly mix natural and artificial light for the best visual comfort of students and teachers.

To achieve this, a combined lighting control system manages luminaire on/off status and dimming based on the inflow of natural light in various daylight scenarios.

Light sensors were installed in each classroom. All luminaires are powered by a DALI electronic ballast and are connected to one another and to the sensors by a Digidim Router, which is the core of the lighting control system. The router collects the info from the light sensors and uses it to accurately adjust each and every single luminaire to obtain optimized lighting conditions. The Digidim Router also allows the recall of various default lighting scenarios: All On, All Off, Speaker, Projector.

Florence, Italy