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A tale of four winds

Siracusa, Sicily

Carlos Olagüe. Architect

The slow and inevitable lighthouse’s shutdown is closer… We need to enlighten them again, revitalize their heritage and make their long history go on. A hotel besides Murro di Porco’s lighthouse will make its heart beat again. To reach this goal, we should take the lighthouse, the existing building as the milestone and the center around which the entire hotel must turn.

Propose a turistic alternative to this place made us find, inevitably, the origin of the project in the lighthouse itself. We found our motivation from its geometry, a polygon with ten sides. It’s central position within the operation area and and the functioning of its light based on 4 phases.

The polygon shape of ten sides would be repeated to build the rooms and the central position of the lighthouse would be the physical center from which emerge the different paths, based on the times that casts its light. We want to propose a dispersed urbanization handling an organic weave and adapted to the sinuous land, but putting order within the chaos, supported at strategic points on a grid. For this, we establish a hierarchy of routes with different objectives: the main ones, radial, departing from the lighthouse, dividing the area into four pieces. From them, emerge others, concentric to the lighthouse, which tie the main ones and complete the secondary routes that leads to our cabin. We choose wood for all of them, a convenient material to walk on, natural and in perfect harmony with the environment. But we don’t use it always the same way. In the mail routes, the material is wilder, in small and irregular pieces which match the field. Nevertheless, in secondary paths it becomes increasingly well arranged the closer we get to the cabins, puting the accent in its radial disposition.

We get to the hotel after wandering the endless routes we encounter within the mediterranean landscape. In the main entrance we can see the lighthouse in the distance. But before we get to it, we must leave our car and, in some ways, give up our past, our routine and daily hurries. We have the chance to learn how to live peacefully, the chance to run away and get seduced by new experiences. A path leads us from the parking to the lighthouse. There, at the reception, we are given the instructions of how to get to our cabin. It may be in one of the four areas (NE, SW, NW, SE), separated by the main routes that departs from there. From these main routes emerge another ones, smaller. Different spaces show up, places where you can socialize with other hotel guests: shared pools hidden within the nature, platforms with hammocks in which you can rest and make contact with the environment, balconies to watch the horizon beyond the cliff. Finally, the routes will lead us to our cabin. Those have different purposes and you can disappear completely for some days, if you want to. All guests are connected to the reception by a mobile application. This application provides you full access to the main hotel services like room service, laundry, a cocktail or a massage- without leaving the room. The same way the lighthouse was used to guide the sailors in the old days, every cabin can emit light signals to lead the hotel staff every time a guest requires a service. The staff will move unseen through the paths, from the kitchens, situated next to the parking, to the rooms using electric carts, invisible to other guests.

Being in the cabin is like getting closer to a little intimate paradise, a luxury bivouac slightly elevated from the floor in which one can sleep under the stars and feel protected at the same time. This feeling is created by a replication of the lighthouse’s geometry, a ten sided polygon inserted in a circumference of 5 meters in diameter. To build the cabin, we insert them in a 10 meter circumference, inserted itself in another one of 15 meters. These three circles will be the spheres of privacity, bounded by textile elements with which the user decide what relationship is established between each of them and with the outside world. A bed and an oculus to see the stars compose the first of the circles. The second one is composed by two different areas, one for the bathroom and another one, covered, for the living room. The last one has a perimetral path surrounded by masonry walls, delimiting the outer space Among the three spheres a constant in-between is composed, and can be modificated by the guest at his convenience, and will allow him to establish different relationships with the environment and with the other guests. Thanks to its geometry and the arangement of the pilars, the basic piece can be disposed isolated or may be repeated leaning on their ends and concatenated as many times as you want and grow like a tapestry throughout the territory.


A tale of four winds