r v r arquitectos: The plan involves the organization of the general areas of parking and approach ways of visitors to the lighthouse of Finisterre, as well as the construction of a new building housing the souvenirs huts scattered in the area and the installation of toilets of public use. The lighthouse of Finisterre and its environment have progressively become a place of important touristic appeal, both for people coming by bus or car and for those who come on foot or by bike. The flow of visitors is very changeable along the year, being scarcer in winter and increasing considerably with good weather, being in some summer days considered even massive. On the other hand, the average time of stay per person is approximately of one hour. Under such conditions, the plan aims to the organization of these flows of people, and tries to do it in an economical way: by means of specific correction of the topography to hold the new park sites, for instance, rejecting solutions based on the uncontrolled use of the so-called urban furniture, and with the use of materials- concrete and asphalt for pavements and walls, tarry wood for the building- that offer an ageing favourable to their plasticity.

The park site of visitors is organized along the west side of the approach way. Clearing works are performed for the location of the vehicles “under trench”, protected by the slope and under the shadow of the existing little pine forest. The view of the cars is so concealed to walkers. The esplanade of the current park site is corrected and adjusted in its geometrical definition to become an area previous to the new pedestrian approach: waiting place for the groups of people that come and go, and manoeuvre area for buses. In a slightly below level we find the stands of handcraft sales and the public toilet commodities. They are placed under a large cover of tarry wood that allows the visitors to shelter from the noise and the rain while they buy or wait for their group. A ramp and a large bench form the meetings between the two levels of the square, about 80 cmts.

The approach of vehicles beyond the main park site will be restricted to those serving the lighthouse and the small hotel existing in the building Semáforo. The way connecting the parking with the lighthouse and the areas of entering this are adapted, and the area connecting the lighthouse in its west side with the building Sirena is arranged. The intervention is more powerful in the square approaching the lighthouse, the geometry of its current limits is corrected to reinforce its presence as balcony looking at the horizon. Almost in the limit of the slope with the sea, there will be a bench for rest and contemplation of the ocean and the lighthouse. The square becomes a large sloping plane that takes the visitor towards the sea. The entry to the building involves a stone ramp recovered from the former paving of the building, wide enough to allow the accessibility of people and of specific service vehicles.

In the Eastern side of the lighthouse, going down to the pilgrim square, a ramp is made that goes down to an area where there exist the ruins of some small stables attached to the wall, forming a sort of natural balcony over the cliff. This reinforces the feeling that nowadays causes to be almost over the waves. The path to the “end of the earth” ends in the small square of the pilgrim, at the foot of the building La Sirena. The approach way is a stair and it is made a terrace with huge pieces of stone. A hole in the floor of those large stones will make possible the clothes burning rite of the pilgrims.

Project: Adaptation of the surroundings of the lighthouse of Finisterre
Design: r v r arquitectos
Execution: June 2004
Date of end of work: May 2007
Location: Cape of Finisterre/Finisterre/A Coruña/Spain
Area: 4500 m2
Budget: 260.000 € (VAT excluded) = 50 € / m2
Building Company: Divicotel(1ªF) / Constructions Ogando(2ªF)
Developer: Council of Finisterre / Provincial Council of A Coruña
Photos: Marcial Rodríguez Rodríguez