The Lighthouse hotel is located on the rocky cliff known as Capo Murro di
Porco, a few meters distant from the lighthouse. It will be a junction for the touristic traffic in southern-east Sicily. The hotel assumes a barycentric position
within the Val di Noto. It can be a suitable place to have an exclusive
accommodation, to enjoy the Sicilian flavours in an excellent restaurant,
and where people can get a wellness treatment watching a panoramic view.
The new system aims to facilitate the use of this place, which is extreme,
steep but emotional. The hotel does not prevent the free and public access
to the surrounding area, though.
THE INTEGRATION WITH THE EXISTING ARCHITECTURES | The result achieved integrates with the existing architecture of the area
thanks to a new rectangular parterre. It allows the creation of a large square
between the lighthouse (where the new exhibition area is set), the bookshop
and wine cellar (in the existing building west of the lighthouse complex)
and the new project. The reconversion and conservative restoration
of the three existing buildings maintains the external aspect of the constructions. The lighthouse building’s windows have been walled-up and plastered to channel people flows to the central parterre.
THE LINE ENCLOSES, THE LINE FRAMES, THE LINE HOLDS UP | The project (1.700 sqm) is a ‘line’ that crops the blocks of rocks and frames
the horizon and the lighthouse complex. It wraps the wide rocky space
generating two different squares. The first is a Water square, facing the sea
and containing an open pool; this reinterprets the natural sea water
ponds among the rocks. The stone square, instead, faces the lighthouse
in its rocky outlines and resizes the dimension of the vast chalky soil.
The white smooth plaster and the splayed windows give a lytic aspect to
the external walls of the building. On the other side, the internal elevations
are soft, warm and reveal themselves through a wooden brise-soleil. Behind
them, the internal distribution stretches around the internal squares.
It is enlightened by a natural light, filtered by the wooden elements.
The new complex lies where the soil is smoothest and where it is easier to get
down to the sea. It intercepts the flows from the city to the sea, reaching a
wooden solarium on the seashore. The paths are weak and take advantage
of the existing traces and the nature of the ground.
THE FUNCTIONS | The pool looks south-east and it can be appreciated by the restaurant and
the hotel’s Wellness Centre. This is a service for the hotel guests and for
those visitors who are attracted by the amazing location on the white rocks
above the sea. The Wellness Centre consists of an internal path marked by
the presence of three separate calidarium pools and of a big frigidarium,
where the water flow simulates a cascade. The thermal path ends on a
The Wellness Centre (280 squaremeters) and the Reception are contained
in the only part of the ‘line’ which faces both the squares. The rooms
wing faces the stone square too (18 rooms on the whole, each of them is
about 25 square meters). The restaurant (460 sqm) and the
multifunctional room (160 sqm) overlook the water square. The multifunctional
room can be used as a congress/meeting room, breakfast
room and for activities connected to the hotel offer. It is a symmetric filter
space between the water square and the rectangular public parterre, where
the bookshop and the exhibition area are set. The function of the big
open-air space is to welcome every kind of visitors. The parking area is
located northern to the existing entrance pathway.
The hotel’s restaurant is also open to other visitors, not only hotel customers.
It faces sunrise and sunset and it increases the tourists’ attraction of
THE INTERPRETATION OF THE LANDSCAPE | The hotel is the new lighthouse foundation. It is a ‘device’ that helps the
landscape interpretation of the area. This interpretation is always based on
elements in contrast with each other. The smooth and solid line against the
irregular soil. The sloping floor always faces the hotel’s horizontal shape
which finds a support on the pre-existing stones and overhangs when the
stones disappear. The infinity of the rocky sea landscape is clipped by darkrooms. These are rooms, inside the hotel, where the
guests can appreciate the immensity of nature ‘captured’ in a room.