Just Memories

Concordia Lighthouse Competition - matterbetter Isola del Giglio / Italy / 2015

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What is the future of the lighthouse? This is the main question the project is attempting to give an answer to. Despite all the complex themes concerning the image of the lighthouse, the answer is as easy as the question, direct and extremely provocative: simply none.


None, because the lighthouse is only the melancholic vision of a romantic past, the naive stereotype of ocean seaside.


None, because every useless building we project is an unfading scar on earth face, it is no more time to create things which are just beautiful, beauty nowadays is the supreme consequence of mere utility. 


The concept is based on the disasters humans are able to create, the devastation of our presence, the damage we cause to ourselves and to the environment. The disaster of Concordia is a perfect example of this attitude to destroy: 32 light beams break out of the rubbles of a lighthouse, they symbolize the 32 victims of the shipwreck, just light preserve the memory of a tragedy. As the Concordia’s passengers had been, even the light of their memory is at the mercy of the sea,  the strength of waves which enter in the artificial concrete cavern controls the movement of the light which rotates and alternately gives birth to the 32 light beams. 


Is it possible to wash out every sign of the disaster, as the authorities have tried to do, dismissing the Concordia’s wreck? Wash out the memory of people by removing a material sign it is certainly a clumsy attempt to obliterate facts: this heap of rubbles symbolize the tragedy from both point of view, material and immaterial. The lighthouse, which once guided ships, here is seen as a light able to lead memory, to remind people the respect for nature, for the sea and the unpredictability of fate which is symbolized through the unpredictable movement of the light. 


Below the rubbles, taken from a demolished lighthouse and some dismissed ships, is build an artificial concrete cavern where the waves are canalized, the movement of waves switch on the Point Absorber System which produce energy for the light. The waves, once entered inside this artificial hollow, impart movement to the light, borne by a structure which leave it free to rotate. The light emitted is conveyed to the surface of the heap of rubbles by 32 steel tubes, alternately lighted depending on the movement of the waves.


This architecture is not projected to last forever, the future is clear: Mother Nature itself will take care of those memories of both the relict of the lighthouse and the tragedy of the Concordia, every stone, every single rusty piece of metal, every human trace will be overwhelmed again by ecosystem.


No living cell has been projected: it would have been a negation of the concept itself, a further pointless rape of nature; the only watchers of this architecture are the endless sea and the roaring waves

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    What is the future of the lighthouse? This is the main question the project is attempting to give an answer to. Despite all the complex themes concerning the image of the lighthouse, the answer is as easy as the question, direct and extremely provocative: simply none. None, because the lighthouse is only the melancholic vision of a romantic past, the naive stereotype of ocean seaside. None, because every useless building we project is an unfading scar on earth face, it is no more time to...

    Project details
    • Year 2015
    • Client matterbetter competition
    • Status Competition works
    • Type Waterfront / Graphic Design / Monuments / River and coastal redevelopment / Shrines and memorials / Building Recovery and Renewal
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