Designers reimagine the lighthouse

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Concordia Landscape snagged first place honors with an abstract, deconstructed take on the lighthouse(Credit: Gwizdala Andrzej and Adrien Mans)

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Host of architectural competitions matterbetter recently put a call out for designers and architects to reimagine the lighthouse, with a concept structure that would also serve as a monument to the Costa Concordia disaster. From a total of 282 entries, three winners were chosen, each offering its own radical take on the lighthouse.

Though we haven't received direct confirmation from matterbetter, this looks very much like an exercise in design, rather than a serious plan for construction. That said, the brief called for the lighthouse to be located on Giglio Island, Tuscany, in the area that Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia sunk in 2012, resulting in the deaths of 32 people.

Concordia Landscape snagged first place with an abstract structure that more closely resembles a brightly-lit bridge or large-scale installation than the classic tower that's a regular feature of coastlines around the world.

Stretching from the shore out into the sea, this most practicable of the three entries comprises a narrow pedestrian walkway and a skeletal framework of beams that would light up at night with 1,000 sq m (10,763 sq ft) of light panels. The panels would be powered by a nearby photovoltaic array, so would be sustainable to run.

Runner-up Silent Compass more closely resembles a classic lighthouse shape, with its tubular structure that rises to a total height of 64 m (209 ft). Sporting a copper-skinned podium, the interior of the lighthouse would include two bars/cafes, plus a toilet. A rainwater catchment system and vertical indoor farm provide this entry's green-cred, while the actual light beacon itself is located on the uppermost 14th story.

Third and final in the list of winners, Catharsis is the oddball of the trio. Its design calls for an unusual labyrinth-like structure with walls made from the rusted steel of the Costa Concordia itself. However, this building would be hidden from general view, and secondary to a single large beam of light jutting out from the ground up into the sky.

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