matterbetter competition entry
in collaboration with Philipp Neumann and Max Körner
Since millenniums lighthouses bring light into darkness. The Costa Concordia Disaster marks one of the darkest moments in the recent history of cruise shipping. 32 humans lost their lives in a tragedy, which could have been prevented. Even though navigation nowadays relies on modern positioning systems, lighthouses still guide seafarers on their way back to their homeports.
While functionality stayed the same in the course of time, modern technology allows for a change in the typology of lighthouses. Constant maintenance by a watcher is no longer required, neither an immoderate amount of space. Ultimately today’s lighthouses can be reduced to their essential function. Bringing light into darkness. This reduction allows for a very sculptural approach in redefining today’s lighthouse.
LIGHT INTO DARKNESS connects land and water by bridging the gap between coast and sea with a footbridge to the exact position where the Costa Concordia sunk, only meters away from Giglio’s shore. When reaching the location of the crack inside the ship, which led to its fatal sinking, the catwalk turns its horizontal orientation ninety degrees to vertically point towards the sky. This creates a very spiritual place connecting life and death and giving the bereaved a place to mourn.
Glowing spheres, seemingly floating on the water surface, trace Costa Concordia’s outlines in its slanting position. An image that went all around the world. While creating an illuminated atmosphere, especially at nighttime, these spheres are using wave power to generate electricity. Each one is connected to a so-called wave pump allocated on the seafloor using the up and down motion caused by waves to turn kinetic into electric energy, which is then transported to a plant ashore. Thereby the lighthouse becomes a self-sustaining structure, while simultaneously supplying Giglio with clean energy. Once again it becomes an inspiring structure like it used to be in history, adjusting to today’s requirements and innovations.