Sally Bates
James Cubitt Architects

Guiding Light
688mmW x 586mmH x 19mmD / Digital Print on Aquarelle Paper

Through time and tide, afternoon shadows emerge. Golden light streams down on the Santa Marta lighthouse that has stood still since it was first constructed in Cascais, Portugal in 1867. It adjoins a fort that was constructed around the 1640’s. It is one of 47 functioning lighthouses in all of Portugal. Lighthouses, beacons of light hold both history and stories. They relentlessly serve night after night, through storms and calm seas for the original purposes for which they were built. The Santa Marta lighthouse has been thoughtfully adapted and refitted over the years to continue to act as a working lighthouse, providing navigational assistance . The fort, which has been adapted and redesigned since the 1760’s now hosts a museum, providing a more recent community based use of space on the original site. When historical monuments such as this one are imbued with ongoing social meaning or have been readapted to modern life, they possess an enduring currency. There is value in considering how new buildings today will be adapted, re-adapted and expanded over time to suit the needs of users, during any planning and design development phases. Approaches that incorporate principals of flexibility, technological foresight and sensitivity to the site are increasing likely to stand the test of time.