Design strategies for the recovery and enhancement of lighthouse: some case studies of the Ligurian Sea


This paper presents the first results of ongoing research analysing some coastal lighthouses in the territorial jurisdiction of the Northern Maritime Command of La Spezia, located between the Island of Elba and the Gulf of La Spezia. The research is inspired by the “Valore Paese – Fari” initiative, launched in 2015 by the Agenzia del Demanio, with Difesa Servizi S.p.a, to promote in the real-estate market several currently disused lighthouses by granting them to overcome the management and maintenance problems. Some of the lighthouses on the Italian coasts are now affected by a gradual abandonment caused by the spread of current geo-localisation technologies and remote control and management systems. The research aims to highlight the historical and cultural importance of lighthouses, identifying possible valorisation strategies and development potential in terms of flexibility and ability to adapt to a radical functional transformation. The article firstly outlines a typological atlas of lighthouses and highlights their technical constructional characteristics. Subsequently, the design strategies of the lighthouses under study are defined for their recovery and valorisation in compliance with architectural and economic requirements. Starting from an organic and systematic classification that filled the great lack and fragmentation of available information, a detailed survey was carried out using HBIM throughout the knowledge phase, and the Value Analysis method was used to define design solutions that meet pre-established financial requirements and limits. In summary, the research shows how the lighthouse architectures are linked to the coastal context area, especially to the construction techniques concerning the different local cultures, and can lead to interesting economic and social revitalisation processes of the surrounding areas.