Too often, architects and designers treat nature as separate from humans or human creations. Nature is fought, or protected, or considered as something to accommodate for through a retroactive checklist. In contrast, Barberio Colella ARC's Lanterns Sea Village is a conceptual plan to create short-stay housing that integrates natural systems with people and buildings. The team behind the project, Micaela Colella and Maurizio Barberio, designed the small residences to approach housing from a more adaptive perspective.
Tarifa, in the South of Spain, is frequented year round by surfers, many of whom do not permanently live in the area, and these surfers often make their stay in large hotels and resorts that do not interact positively with their cultural or ecological surroundings. In order to reduce the negative impact on the landscape, Lanterns Sea Village would provide sustainable temporary dwellings for this migratory community.
The master plan visualizes an aggregation of 100 tetrahedron-shaped huts that extend outwards from the shore. These modules could be collected into both communal clusters and isolated strands of activity, with each unit made mostly of bamboo, salvaged wood, and thrashed surfboards. While the latter two materials seem reasonably available in a surfing community, bamboo does not, yet Colella and Barberio highlight the fact that Tarifa, located at the Southernmost tip of Spain, has an ideal humidity level for growing bamboo to its maximum height of up to 65 feet (20 meters). The bamboo foundations also take advantage of the material's incredible strength, with as few supports as possible driven deep into the sandy ocean floor.
Life in the village system is organized across two levels: a lower floor, four meters above sea level, contains walkways and stairs that run the length of the development; above the promenade are the actual residences. Each has an area of about 100 square feet (30 square meters) and includes a kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom located above the staircase. To allow the units to function off-grid, Colella and Barberio conceived a system of mini-turbines and rooftop solar panels. This hybrid system of locally sourced materials, non-invasive energy acquisition, and communally adaptive infrastructure makes the Lanterns Sea Village an insightful perspective into the adaptive possibilities of oceanfront architecture and design.