Dezeen Magazine

YAC announces winners of the Lighthouse Sea Hotel competition

Dezeen promotion: a hostel with a secluded courtyard and bedrooms facing the sea has won a competition seeking ideas to transform a Sicilian lighthouse into a tourist facility.

The contest was organised by Young Architects Competitions (YAC) and Valore Paese Fari – a government-funded heritage protection project – in partnership with Rimini Fiera, Agenzia del Demanio from the Italian government, Paolo Castelli and Videoworks.

Called the Lighthouse Sea Hotel competition, the brief asked architects and designers to imagine ways to adapt the abandoned Murro di Porco lighthouse and surrounding area.

Lighthouse Sea Hotel competition
The winner of the Lighthouse Sea Hotel competition is Hostel O by Italian studio Maresia

Italian-Portuguese studio Maresia was awarded first prize for its project, which focuses on sustainable tourism and a relationship to the existing buildings through material choices.

Called Hostel O, the scheme includes the addition of a white concrete building to the site. The new block would contain bedrooms that offer views of the seaside.

Lighthouse Sea Hotel competition
Maresia proposes adding a white concrete building to the site

"By using white concrete, we ensure a continuity in the white mono-material construction of the area and create a relationship between the lighthouse and the hotel," said the designers.

At the centre of the new building, a circular courtyard would let light into adjacent spaces and provide a communal space for tourists.

Lighthouse Sea Hotel competition
A circular courtyard could be used as a communal area for guests

The original lighthouse and a smaller structure would be used for the reception, offices and bar.

Spanish team Sevak Asatrián, Álvaro Olivares, Esther Sanchis and Eduardo Sancho were awarded second prize for their design, which features thermal baths.

They suggested adding four new buildings alongside the lighthouse to accommodate the hotel, thermal baths, a restaurant and administration area. The lighthouse itself would be turned into one hotel suite and two family units.

Lighthouse Sea Hotel competition
Second prize goes to a proposal featuring thermal baths by Sevak Asatrián, Álvaro Olivares, Esther Sanchis and Eduardo Sancho

"Previous paths, drawn by human steps, are kept and tamed, and new volumes that frame the sea and the existing architecture are set along it," said the team.

The third prize was given to Italian team Aut-aut's Light is More project, which aims to conserve and restore the lighthouse with a delicate intervention.

Lighthouse Sea Hotel competition
Italian team Aut-aut's Light is More project was awarded the third prize

Rather than adding to the side, Aut-aut's design attaches white metal structures to the top of the original buildings to create an extra floor level.

"These light structures make the roofs usable, thanks to the stairs they provide and to the possibility of hanging traditional fabric drapes as shading devices," said Aut-aut.

"In this way, each hotel room includes a private lifted terrace where intimacy is guaranteed."

Lighthouse Sea Hotel competition
Aut-aut's design attaches white metal structures to the top of the original buildings to create an extra floor level

French team A131 and Italian team Stanza were awarded gold honourable mentions. Ten other projects received an honourable mention and 30 finalists were recognised for the quality of their projects.

Architects and designers from 88 countries submitted ideas. The winning entries were selected by an international jury, including Manuel Aires Mateus, Fabrizio Barozzi, Pierluigi Cervellati, Alessandro Marata, Bruno Messina, Matteo Agnoletto, Roberto Reggi e Giancarlo Garozzo.

First place receives €8,000 (approximately £5,600), the runner-up gets €4,000 (approximately £2,800) and the third prize is €2,000 (approximately £1,403).

The winning projects will be awarded on the 15 October and exhibited during Sia Guest, the international hospitality event in Rimini, Italy.