Daylight in Buildings

the aquatic lighthouse museum


Marium Hesham, Pavly Gamal, Youlianna Samir, Marwa Khalid, Ahmed Gamal


Haby Hussein


Helwan University



the aquatic lighthouse museum

Project Description

Egypt is well known for its great monuments that lasted for over 5,000 years BC. however, those monuments do not only exist in the deserts. but also, under the sea. 1960 an archeologist discovered an area on the east side of the citadel of Qaitbay in Alexandria, where we found the ruins of the ancient royal city: the lighthouse that was one of the world's Seven Wonders and the palace where Anthony and Cleopatra lived out their last days, many pharaonic monuments and over 25000 stonework over 25000 square in that area in the sea . all of these were subsumed by the earthquakes and the sea high waves. some of these monuments were being lifted and brought to well-known museums, but still, there are thousands of them down there. Here comes our idea, our project idea was to build an aquatic lighthouse museum, to have a journey with the monuments down there in the middle of the sea, with an overwhelming view of the past and nature is merged. The building takes a semi-spiral shape form that matches the movement of the waves. also, it’s proven that spiral or more circular shapes are more stable, and stability is required in this condition. it is located 7 meters below the sea surface on the east side of the citadel of Qaitbay. visitors and tourists can get down to the building underwater through a ramp, all its walls are made of acrylic fiberglass, to have a view of the sea and its creature while walking till the main museum entrance. the main museum hall has three sealed walls, except for one wall that views the largest Number of sank sculptures, stonework, and monuments. Lighting and ventilation tubes system inspired by Velux sunlight skylights. our idea was to integrate all the environmentally friendly technology within the building. the whole building is being lighted up and ventilated with natural resources. The system is based on two concentric tubes, located on the ceiling of the building, and extends to above the sea level. the larger tube (the one located on the outside) is opened from both its upper and lower sides, so the air coming from the surface of the sea can flow through the tube to the inside of the building. the smaller tube (the insider one ) consists of a dome at its top to collect all sunlight rays then it travels through a highly reflective tube till it reaches a diffuser at its end inside the building, the sun is diffused into crystal particles to give illumination with that sparkly effect that matches the reflection of light in the sea. At night or the absence of sunlight, the building is being lighted up with light lamps and spots. However, the sources of electricity are ecofriendly as well. it is based on generating electricity with turbines that using waves force to generate energy. The descending ramp lighting: the walls are all made of acrylic glass it is being lighted due to the refraction of sun rays in the water at day. The lighthouse idea: as the building is being located on the wreck of Alexandria lighthouse, we wanted to mortalize the memory of the lighthouse. The light tubes that are obvious at the surface of the building will be lighted up during the night, so even at distance people can see the lighthouse location illuminates and spreads light. The structure system: building underwater needs building materials with high structural performance. Furthermore, we wanted a building material that provides a suitable environment for the underwater creatures .that’s why we chose to build with Econcrete ( Eco-friendly concrete ) it’s different from traditional concrete, it has a less negative effect on the water and the aquatic creatures. moreover, researches have proven that after lifetime sponges, crabs and other creatures take the gabs between the Econcrete walls as a shelter, and that is exactly what we were looking for in building material. Using acrylic fiberglass instead of normal glass, as it fulfills our requirement and to be has a minimal price. It is durable, has high strength, able to tolerate the high pressure of the water. Furthermore, it is safe for users and visitors. The world is heading forward taking advantage of the environment to increase sustainability. Artificial light in addition to the air conditioning system is one of the most sources for energy consumption. Architects are trying to find ways to bring natural air and light into our buildings, for a better, cleaner sustainable future