Rio Lighthouse

  • Date:
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  • Location
  • 06/2010
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  • Rio de Janeiro
  • For the Rio Lighthouse, we propose a building that appears massive and iconic from some views, and light and ephemeral from others.  This allows the building to grab the attention of visitors when approached from the south (the direction of incoming planes) while providing a more subtle impact on the skyline when viewed from Copacabana beach.  From the beach, the concrete supports become less prominent and the glass boxes seem to float in space.  In the evening, this effect is accentuated by the LED lights within the glass boxes. The concrete structure of the lighthouse dramatically extends over the water.  This site, off the southern coast of the island, provides a number of advantages.  Most importantly, the site provides unobstructed views to and from Copacabana beach.  Extending the building over the water also allows boat passengers to disembark directly into the lighthouse. Lastly, the site allows the island’s ecology to be undisturbed by the lighthouse’s construction.    


  • The building’s programmatic spaces are located within the lighthouse’s concrete structure and suspended glass boxes.  The collective program spaces, such as the auditorium, salon, viewing rooms, and bungee jumping platform are located within the glass boxes.  These rooms provide spectacular panoramic views of Rio.  The vertical circulation, administrative functions, and elevated terraces are located within the concrete supports.  The concrete is perforated with small openings to provide specific views of the surrounding area from within these spaces.  We propose a design which performs two seemingly mutually exclusive functions.  It is a dramatic landmark to those arriving in the city, and a subtle compliment to the skyline from Rio.