matterbetter_dev has initiated the Concordia Lighthouse Competition for architectural students and young professionals. Participants were asked to redefine a contemporary lighthouse typology and take into consideration advances in technology, development of sustainable systems and its metaphorical value which has made it one of the most inspiring structures in the world. Lighthouse design should become a tribute to the Costa Concordia Disaster and highlight the vulnerable borders between the elements of Land and Sea, Sky and Ground, Light and Darkness. Even today when global positioning systems diminish the role of the lighthouses, they still play and important role and are inalienable parts of the marine navigation tradition.

matterbetter_dev has received in total 282 submissions. International Jury Board, which consisted from Emmanuelle Moureaux, Eric Schuldenfrei, Cristina Cassandra Murphy and Daria Polozkova, has selected the Winners and Honorable Mentions of the Concordia Lighthouse Competition.

Concordia Lighthouse Competition - Winners

Winner 1st Place
292292 / Gwizdala Andrzej / Adrien Mans/Poland/ Belgium

Jury Comment:
Very interesting concept with beautiful expression. The idea of a "dispersed" lighthouse composed of "lines" totally redefines the typology of lighthouse, which is usually built as a massive and solid architecture. Composed of thin lines whom density increases growing toward the sea, the structure appears beautifully during the day. At night, all the lines light up and fragments of thin lights connect the sea and the coast in a dramatic yet poetic way. The idea creates more than a lighthouse, it creates a "lightscape". - Emmanuelle Moureaux

The intermediate scale discussed in this proposal makes sense. Traditionally, the cylindrical shape is inaccessible from its immediate context: the rigid verticality and scale find no other proximate reference and the connection with the ground is brutal, essential, and un‐ ceremonial. This projects takes over this aspect and transforms the isolated, disconnected, and anonymous character of the lighthouse domain into a ceremonial, public, and unique environment. In this proposal, it is important to pay attention to the temporal relation between what had happened and what can still become: the structure reaches out to the 'heart of the drama' and looks back toward the inhabitants of the island. This project is a secure hand that leads the visitor to confront and commemorate the past event and, at the same time, provides the opportunity to give that same place a new social significance. - Cristina C. Murphy

Concordia Lighthouse Competition - Winners


Winner 2nd Place
222812 / Lý Thanh Hoàng Phúc, Nguyễn Xuân Trang, Trịnh Tiến Vinh , Nguyễn Đình Anh Huy, Đỗ Thị Vành Khuyên / Vietnam

Jury Comment:
The Silent Compass proposal is clear and accurate in its presentation. The design sheet initiates a consistent investigation of the architectural structure and serves as a good visual explanation of the theoretical narrative behind the creation of the eventual design. The lighthouse has a fluent and harmonious feel and is a pleasure for the eye. I love how the path leading to the lighthouse is incorporated in the natural landscape, almost invisible among the rocky setting and yet edgy and clearly present at the same time. The lighthouse changing character during the course of the day makes it a lively architectural structure with amazing power to transform in accordance with the surrounding natural environment. This transformation of visual appeal during the course of day is subtle and yet very clear. The spatial potential of the building has been used in such a way to include a big variety of functions without compromising its light and translucent character.

The design succeeds in preserving traditional architectural typology redefining the lighthouse by abstracting it to its symbolic qualities. Proposed landmark becomes a symbol of the terrible event without evoking an oppressing presence, becoming rather a reminder for the future generations. This is a very important issue. One must not forget that the enormous shipwreck of Concordia and the tragic emotions it provoked were a part of this island for a very long time. This obligatory confrontation with tragedy was a daily routine for the local habitants of Isla Giglio for many years. I find this calm and elegant lighthouse to be a matter of honor for the people who’ve lost their loved ones, and respect for the feelings, negative emotions and patience of the local community, which was confronted with this negative situation, and everything it encompassed, on a daily basis, for years. The Silent Compass pays homage to the victims, the people of the island, its visitors, nature and landscape in a very elegant way. It evokes a healing process through its transformative character, provides a comfortable place for contemplation and memory, opens an amazing panoramic view on the landscape during the whole course of ascension and descent. - Daria Polozkova

This project is dense with significance as it sets the right questions forward: what is a lighthouse today and how can this trigger awareness of the surrounding? These quests are, in themselves, sustainable. The proposal is well illustrated and, simply, describes functionality on a 24 hours cycle. Aesthetically unique, the proposal exhibits an interesting transformation between the traditional image of lighthouse and a more adaptive design which includes various programs and responds to diverse contemporary purposes. - Cristina C. Murphy


Concordia Lighthouse Competition - Winners

Winner – 3rd Place
240820 / Matteis Valentino Danilo, Daniele Dimitris Michele / Italy

Jury Comment:
Certainly a new expression and interesting spatial experience. The idea considers the lighthouse not as a building but as an experience through exploration, a real story beginning from the approach. The long path goes slowly under the sea, then connects to a large horizontal water circle floating on the sea where visitors can rest with feet in the water. The light-beam glowing vertically from the center of circle connecting the sea and the sky, is strong and dramatic. Only the light appears in the landscape (everything is hidden or horizontal) instead of the usual vertical architecture. - Emmanuelle Moureaux

The Catharis proposal fully justifies its name. The visual presentation is comprehensible and pure, evoking a modest mystical flair. The structure of the architectural composition is delicate and very strong at the same time, based on so many direct and indirect oppositions. The general perception of the design translates an inspiring dialectics between the futuristic appeal of the structure and its simple forms and archetypical sculptural gestures. The contrast of initial forms, the distortion between the intricate labyrinth and the round shape of main structure, the opposition of straight descent and twisted ascension, and duality of the restricted horizontal line connecting the mainland with the sea followed by an unlimited vertical one leading towards the sky, has an amazing symbolic beauty. The variety of emotional experiences the visitor adjoins and is forced to go through is reminiscent of a process of pure meditation, compressed in material architectural form. The design does not only evoke a general psychological state of meditation, but also succeeds in encompassing a strong site specific and contextual narrative. The memory of the Costa Concordia tragedy is brilliantly recalled through an experience which unfolds during the visitors’ journey to the lighthouse. This architecture resembles the course of ships’ sinking, the emotional state of the human body struggling to survive, and the symbolic journey of the human soul of those who didn’t. This design is crucial in accentuating the duality of physical chaos and eternal harmony. The Catharis lighthouse is a true memorial and a dignified architectural composition. - Daria Polozkova

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