Concordia Lighthouse Competition

Submission: May 24, 2015
RegistrationMay 17, 2015
Language: English
LocationGiglio Island, Italy
Prizes1st prize €3,000 2nd prize €2,000, 3rd prize €1,000


Matterbetter is inviting young architects, designers, artists and students from around the world to participate in the international open-ideas Concordia Lighthouse Competition.

The competition aims to investigate the contemporary typology of the lighthouse architecture, its metaphoric and symbolic components based around the Costa Concordia disaster, when one of the largest cruise ships in the world has ran aground on the coast of the Giglio Island in Italy resulting in the loss of 32 lives.

Costa Concordia cruise ship ran partially sank after hitting a reef off the coast of Isola del Giglio on January 13th, 2012, in Tuscany, Italy. This disaster resulted in the loss of 32 lives. Costa Concordia was a Concordia-class cruise ship built in 2004 in Italy. It belongs to the fleet of one of the biggest cruise ships in the world, capable of accomodating 4.880 people: 3.780 passengers and 1.100 crew members.

At the moment of the tragedy Costa Concordia was carring 3,229 passengers and 1,023 crew members. It was on a routine 7-night route, departing from Civitavecchia, Italy, when around 21:30 local time it has hit a rock next to Isole le Scole, which resulted in a 53-meter long dash in the engine compartment. The power to the engine was cut off and the cruise ship started to drift and sink. Strong wind has pushed the vessel next to the Punta Gabbianara, where it has grounded and rolled onto its starboard side.During 2013-2014 Costa Concordia was brought to the vertical position and towed to the Port of Genoa, Italy.More information regarding this disaster can be found here: Costa Concordia disaster.

Lighthouses are built in appropriate and significant locations, on coastal heights, islands, rocks and eventually right into the sea onto artificial islands. They guide, warn, mark, alert, lighten and highlight dangerous coast areas, difficult passages, complex obstacles and entrances to harbors, city ports and shallow estuaries. Their expressed purpose is to carry light in the most remarkable and visible manner, so that even distant ships can be warned or guided. Even through the darkest nights, through the most opaque and starless universe, heavy storms and fogs, the lighthouse’s warm and familiar signals can be perceived. Whether the lighthouse sits almost like a sturdy tower-house on a higher cliff, hanging over the sea, or grows up to a monumental height, it is programmed to verticality and ascensional dynamics. The ascensional character is settled in its typological genealogy and is an essential aspect of its character.

Lighthouses have a long history starting presumably from the 8000 B.C. During the centuries the typology of the lighthouse has changed drastically – from one of the Wonders of the Ancient World, The Lighthouse of Alexandria, to the contemporary poorly designed purely technological structures which have lost their original spellbinding architecture.

Mission Statement
Participants are 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. New Lighthouse 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.

The site is located on the small peninsula north of the Giglio Porto village on the Giglio Island in Tuscany, Italy. Coordinates of the location: Latitude: 42.365821 / Longitude: 10.920206.
Please see the map and the DWG in the Download section.

There are no restrictions in regards the size and particular position of the lighthouse on the peninsula. The only requirement the design has to meet is that the new Lighthouse should accommodate at least one living cell for a lighthouse watcher or visitors. The objective is to provide maximum freedom for all participants to develop a project in the most creative way to push the boundaries of how the contemporary lighthouse should appear and function.

Evaluation Criteria
– Integration of the lighthouse with the context;
– Translation of the metaphorical power of the lighthouse archetype into the architectural design;
– Meeting the requirements of the mission statement;
– Architectural innovation: aesthetics and originality;
– Sustainability, functionality, structural efficiency and tectonics;
– Meeting the submission requirements;
– Clarity and comprehensibility of the overall design.

10th of March 2015 – Official announcement of the competition.
15th of March 2015 – Start of the registration period.
31st of March 2015 – Deadline for submission of questions.
17th of May 2015 – Registration Deadline (23:59 team local time).
24th of May 2015 – Closing date for submissions (23:59 team local time).
30th of May 2015 – 24th of June 2015 – Jury evaluation.
30th of June 2015 – Announcement of results.

Architects, students, engineers, and designers are invited to participate in the competition. We encourage you to have multidisciplinary teams.
Participants must register by May 17, 2015

Early Registration: 60 EUR until 31st of March 2014.
Standard Registration: 80 EUR from 1st of April till 30th of April
Late Registration: 100 EUR from 1st of May till 17th of May

The total money prize is 6000 EUR.
1st place: 3000 EUR + certificate
2nd place: 2000 EUR + certificate
3rd place: 1000 EUR + certificate

Honorable Mentions Award: 7 Awards + certificate
Editor’s Choice Award: Granted individual publication on our blog and social media pages to three entries that are carefully selected by matterbetter editors.
Top 50: Fifty short-listed entries featured in one single online publication on our blog and social media pages.

Will be announced on 30th of March 2015.

We highly recommend our participants to check the FAQ section on the matterbetter website as this will provide additional vital information. In case you still have questions, please send them to info@matterbetter.com with FAQ subject until 31st of March 2015. All answers will be posted in our blog on 7th of April 2015.