The Flaming Beacon
The Flaming Beacon
As part of a series of upgrades for Geroskipou Beach in Paphos, on the coast of Cyprus, we submitted an idea for a lighting structure that could serve as a prototype for several of such “landmarks” along the beachline. The beach is popular with families, but has seen neglect over the past years. Together with the neighboring municipality, Geroskipou is undertaking measures to upgrade infrastructure, protect the shoreline and clean the beaches. The competition was organized by the Cyprus School of Architecure.
Our tower plays with light and reflection, trying to achieve a maximum effect for a limited budget. As the tower does not have to function as a real lighthouse for navigational purposes, the light it emits during the night can be a lot weaker and dispersed. By using a mirror finish, we want to create a visual effect at night as well as during the day.
And then, imagine the twilight hours! It shows the best of both, the light that seems to move while you’re walking on the beach, and all the colors of the sun and sky. Our simple little tower comes with great effect.
At night, the light can be seen partly directly and partly reflected by the mirrored louvers. As you are approaching and walking around the tower on the beach, the lights starts moving and blinking, as a result.
During the day, parts of the tower appear transparent, while others reflect the surrounding light conditions and colors, the blue sky, the yellows and reds of the sun, or the whites and greys of overcast skies.
Regarding the construction, we want to keep it simple and as light as possible, given the very limited budget. A tubular steel frame acts as the support for vertical metal louvers with a mirror finish, that are slightly rotated in plan. The diameter of the steel frame is as small as necessary for a person to climb up a ladder that is attached to it on the inside. We think there is enough flexibility to allow for budget-related changes: the tower could be shorter if that would help to meet the budget. For now, we decided for a tower as slim and high as possible.
As light source, we decided for simple linear lights, placed vertically behind the tubular steel frame, 12 lights per ring. We want to light the whole tower from bottom to top, compared to the classic single strong light found in a classic lighthouse.