Lighthouse architecture: 10 contemporary projects that never go out


There is some interest around the architecture of the headlights. It is perhaps because, in a global and compulsively interconnected world, these solitary constructions evoke an idea of ​​essential life, recluse and perhaps a little crazy: that of faristes, who often had the sea and the wind for only interlocutors and no other necessity. but balance with nature. Or maybe it’s because, in a more subliminal way, they are a solid bulwark protecting against uncontrollable forces: with their intermittent light beam that pierces the darkness, the lighthouses guide and signal dangerous coastal areas, accesses and obstacles, protecting navigational orientation and safety and reassuring the possibility for man to retain power – however minimal – over impenetrable dynamics.

These places, on the one hand poetic and on the other hand technically efficient, are however today threatened by the evolution of communication technologies which often lead to their dismantling, abandonment and degradation.

For this reason, many disused lighthouses, due to their historical and testimonial value, are recovered and reborn to a new life: as receptive spaces for visitors who yearn to find themselves in a reconciling context (lighthouses of Capo Spartivento, Bergeggi and Brucoli), as museums of maritime culture that they represent (Santa Marta lighthouse), as simple testimonies of an ecosystem to be preserved (Capel Rosso lighthouse, Rubjerg Knude lighthouse).

Nevertheless, lighthouses remain an inviting design theme, and so new lighthouses are being built that stand out against the horizon like sculptural totems, to play a purely functional role (Yeda Lighthouse, Punta del Hidalgo Lighthouse, Marine Candle of ‘Enoshima) or to represent an emblematic monument of the region (Al Fanar).

In any case, the fascination of these “luminous” architectures and the symbolic value they imply remains: lanterns that never go out, in defiance of satellites and GPS.


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