Client: Young Architects Competitions
Status: Competition (2016)
Location: Isola, Italy
Coordinates: 37.003039, 15.335210
Climate: Mediterranean, Temperate
Types: Hotel, Residential
The lighthouse is a structural artifice in the ancient Sicilian landscape tradition. Like the military forts that impose their massiveness upon the sea, the arcade courtyards of Arabo-Norman churches protecting their lush gardens, or the troglodyte caves that preserve a unique dialogue between interior and exterior. The lighthouse is a dominant landmark in the terrain, the link between various elements.
Between land and sea, a stone square with sides of 200 meters is set in hortus conclusus, enveloping the Murro di Porco lighthouse. The duality between the horizontality of the new and verticality of the old creates a new visual marker, a new structural reference in the Sicilian landscape: The Lighthouse Haven. From the land: The lighthouse, its vertical form and the geometry of its structure create the entrance: a unique, voluminous opening. Whereas from the water, the seawall leads into a large portal, channeling the Colossus of Rhodes as well as the very essence of Sicily: Spirit, savoir-faire and raw, earthy material.
Shielding the earth from the winds and taming the sea allows, from within the central enclave, plantations and a port to emerge. In this sanctuary visitors discover the treasures of Sicilian nature: Fish, grape, olive, lemon… The sheltered enclosure offers insights into rich Sicilian culture, of artisan production, the creation of produce and wares through to their consumption, achieved through various exhibition spaces, stores and catering outlets. The wing along the seafront is dedicated to the accommodation: Offering up the horizon, the sky and the sea, with her shimmering reflections, her violence or her calmness, that arouse introspection.
«Free man, you will always cherish the sea!
The sea is your mirror; you contemplate your soul
In the infinite unrolling of its billows;
Your mind is an abyss that is no less bitter. »
Charles Baudelaire, Man and the Sea