Taking farmer's market to a whole new level, Franciacorta Outlet Village is a themed shopping center in Rodengo Saiano, in the northern Italian province of Brescia. Designed around a historic 16th-century “cascina,” or farmhouse, the venue was opened by European Fashion Centers, a company made up of the California-based Craig Realty Group and two Italian companies, Gruppo Percassi and Primavera.

Franciacorta is located in one of Italy's most prosperous regions, with Venice just 90 minutes away. Covering an area of 170,000 square meters, the center is a haven for the fashion conscious, featuring over 120 leading European and American designers and manufacturers, from Versace to Levi's and Nike. Facilities include parking for 2,500 cars, eateries, bars, a fitness center, and entertainment venues, all for an overall investment of 70 million euros. A cutting-edge audio and lighting system is installed in and around the central piazza.

The lighting and audio contractor was one of northern Italy's best-known installers, Sangalli Tecnologie from Brusaporto, in the nearby province of Bergamo. Dario Sangalli explains, “We installed lighting for three applications: a spectacular son et lumière show, architectural, and display and publicity.”

The twice-hourly show involves the illumination of two 250-nozzle fountains installed alongside the old farmhouse and run in sync with a custom soundtrack. The nozzles are controlled by electro-valves connected via DMX interface to the lighting and sound systems. Two 1200W Martin MAC 2000 Performance fixtures and two MAC 2000 Profiles, flown from the eaves of the farmhouse roof, light the fountains. “These were chosen to ensure powerful wash and precise concentrated lighting respectively, able to give the ‘dancing’ fountains precise moving light,” says Sangalli.

The fountain show rig is completed by one of six Martin Atomic 3000W DMX strobes installed and controlled via a Martin Pro Light Jockey DMX 512 console with PCI card. The other five are strategically located around the piazza in front of the fountains. The desk also controls a series of Coemar moving head units: 18 iSPOT 575 and 18 Prowash 575 LX, installed alternately on the arches of the store porticos surrounding the square.

Eleven Martin Exterior 200s are used to illuminate the large U-shaped patio and restaurants opposite the fountains. Says Sangalli, “Apart from the crowds watching the son et lumière show, the gobo projections have proven a very efficient medium for publicizing special campaigns, such as seasonal sales.”

Mike Clark is an Italian-based UK journalist specializing in entertainment technology. He can be reached at mclark@.rimini.com