Lighthouses are beloved around the world for their architectural beauty and historical significance. But in recent times, the number of operational lighthouses has sharply declined due to the advancement of electronic navigation technology. In a bid to raise awareness of these romantic maritime towers and promote preservation, French designer Nicolas Abdelkader of Paris-based Studio NAB has proposed Hololightkeeper, an experimental and sustainable project that combines traditional maritime design with futuristic holographic technology to create a glowing lighthouse-like projection out at sea.
Abdelkader conceived the project with two main parts: a 3D holographic lighthouse projected onto highly transparent mesh and a compact, 30-square-meter cabin from where the hologram would be controlled. In a nod to traditional lighthouse operations, a “lighthouse keeper” would live in the tiny cabin and manage this 3D luminous lighthouse. This guardian can control the holographic diffusion of the 3D lighthouse, which would measure 25 meters in height, diffuse at a range of 50 meters and serve as a guiding beacon to boats at night.
To minimize the architecture’s site impact, Abdelkader designed the building with a light metal framework clad in stainless steel panels and elevated on a series of reinforced concrete and steel piles anchored into hard rock in the seabed. Moreover, the tiny cabin would be built for energy self-sufficiency by drawing power from a wind turbine and solar panels, while drinking water would be provided through a desalination process of the seawater. Natural wood wool within the walls would serve as insulation, and a green roof would add an extra layer of protection.
“The starting point of this project was to note that there still remains around the world more or less 1,500 lighthouses in activity and that consequently, the lighthouse and the job by lighthouse keeper, as we know them, are declining,” Abdelkader explained. “The Studio NAB thus thought about a solution to try to stem the phenomenon, to revive this ancestral job and to modernize the famous concrete monolith such as it is anchored in the collective imaginary, while preserving its aesthetic codes by means of holographic image in 3D.”
Images via Studio NAB