The use of GPS and before the LORAN system led the lighthouse to a slow obsolescence. Those still in operation are controlled remotely or remain active only in particularly delicate nodes for navigation.
They are therefore becoming nostalgic objects from a past in which the sea was a mystery and the lighthouses the guides to return home.
The construction of a lighthouse was a source of pride for a port and a city and represented an identity symbol of an entire community.
Now having lost their primary function, the construction of lighthouses is almost interrupted and one wonders if it will be an architectural typology destined to remain only in the history books of architecture.
In nature only things that do not evolve are destined to become extinct.
The design challenge was to understand if the lighthouse can be transformed to innovate its function and expand its possibilities of use.
The design research aims to evolve the lighthouse on three themes: energy, tourism and communication. We started from the recognition of the distinctive elements of this particular architectural typology, such as the privileged position in extraordinary places, the height, the distance from other buildings, the direct relationship with the sea and the magnificent view that can be enjoyed from its summit.
All these characteristics bring it closer more to a tourist structure than to an aid to navigation. This is why we chose to orientate the new typology towards eco-tourism that is particularly attentive to environmental issues and the protection of the sea, but which also wants to rediscover the ancient charm of living in a lighthouse.
A Spartan hospitality, more similar to that of an alpine shelter than that of a luxury hotel by the sea.
The building consists of a metal reticular structure that houses multiple levels.
On the first floors there is the lobby, some technical areas such as the desalination and the bathrooms (showers and chemical toilets). Through a ladder you pass through the luggage storage space and then you get to the room levels.
Each room has a bed completely overlooking the sea and a small study and reading area.
On the top floor there is a common area to enjoy the seascape. Continuing the staircase accesses other technical spaces (such as the battery room and drinking water tanks) until you reach the top near the lantern.
The particular height of the lighthouse is very similar to that of a wind turbine, this is why we chose to install on its top and under the lantern, a wind turbine that structures the sea winds and allows the whole structure to be energy self-sufficient.
Its features also make it possible to set up the lighthouse to be an excellent tool for communications, from mobile phone networks to navigation control systems, not only in the marine but also in the air, with particular reference to drones that will be more and more present on our skies .
Moreover, the lighthouse is volumetrically deformed and twisted to adapt itself to the base to the particular conditions of foundation on the rocks, instead rotating in the upper part of the rooms to seek the best exposure to winds and select particular points of view on the landscape.
An evolving lighthouse that does not give up disappearing, looking for a new place within the contemporary architectural scene.