The challenges of the new lighthouse

Location: Ferrol, Galicia, España
Designer: Díaz y Díaz Arquitectos [Lucas Díaz Sierra, Gustavo Díaz García] Antonio Desmonts Sierra
Project: Building of Control CCS of the Outer Harbour of Ferrol in collaboration with Antonio Desmonts Sierra.
Date: 2010
Client: Port Authority of Ferrol – San Cibrao
Photographer: Eloy Taboada
This construction opens up like a “hammer” over the pier of Ria de Ares, in the lovely port of Ferrol in Spain.

A transparent, bright container with a dual façade and which acts as lighthouse for the port, and furthermore, given the perfect position and view, it is also a landmark that serves as a control tower.
The first challenge in this impressive project came from the landscape where it stands, which the architects responded to with a repertory of very pure forms, which, integrated with the basin, recall the typical shapes of naval architecture.
The structure is divided vertically in five levels, with the logistics department on the first and second floors, the entrance, plant engineering and stores on the ground floor, and the third floor being a large panoramic terrace giving a protected view of all the port activities.
The Spanish firm Díaz y Díaz Arquitectos had to pursue various project aims.
The challenge of the new conception of space, which had to be versatile and easily adaptable to future changes, achieved by means of vertically linking the rooms that are concentrated in the centre of the building.
The need for an intelligent and efficient building, with high standards of structural strength, a fundamental factor given the strong winds that often blow in this highly exposed area, and the need for building materials that were able to withstand the very salty atmosphere which could cause very fast and serious decay. These were both satisfied by using steel structures, with double safety glass which jointly guarantee excellent water and air permeability and very efficient heat insulation.

Chiara Centineo
Acciaio Arte Architettura 53