Hotel Concordia. Don’t Let Your Dreams Sink.
“Inevitably, every act of memory carries with it a dimension of betrayal, forgetting, and absence.”
Axiom: Everything can be Sustainable
The “Hotel Concordia” is a proposal with the aim of stimulating new future vision for the Giglio Island and the shipwreck. With a Tripsmarter  campaing our task is to collect 329,999,999 US dollars to refloat the cruise and keep it there to create a new economical force in the island: a Hotel. The “Hotel Concordia” thus, will become a significant project to reinvigorate the local economy, while becoming a part of the same landscape and with the same identity of the island.
“The focal point of The ‘Hotel Concordia’ is to refloat the boat and keep it there, in the same place that the shipwreck happened to create a project that will use tourism as the main economical force in the island of Giglio. Considering that the population of Giglio Island is 1,458 [30 April 2009] and that the Costa Concordia Cruise has a capacity to host 3,780 passengers plus a crew of 1,100 persons, the project can be helpful to create a new source of work for it’s inhabitants, that has suffered an ecological and enviromental disaster and transform the capsized vessel into a powerful economical engine.
While reusing the cruise, we aim to focus the project with an “ecological” approach as it will be done with the existing infrastructure: rooms, kitchen, dinner room, etc. This approach transforms The “Hotel Concordia” into a significant project about social architecture and how a community works together over a period of time to construct a space to reinvigorate the local economy.
The firing of this unique hotel will solidify it as a testimony to human creativity sealed by high fire which will last for generations to come.”
Tourists in front of the wreckage. Source: thevsky.com
Tourists on a ferry travel past the capsized cruise liner Costa Concordia. Source: thevsky.com
Crowdfund your perversions
The ironical statement of the project remarks the deep crisis we’re living in terms of economy, but also in terms of ethics and values under the capitalist market and the political decisions that surrounds our daily life. Andreas Huyssen talks about “the nostalgia markets” and this concept links with the idea of tourist taking their souvenir from the Costa Concordia, as a vivid example of what Susan Stewart calls “cultural disease”.
Just like happens in car industry, where it has been developed a complex and more efficient system to manage production without diagnosing the structural and human alineation produced by the system itself . To evidence this “cultural disease”, our Concordia Island proposal push until the absurd how even the new economical and collective effort to raise money, such as crowdfunding campaings can be absorbed by our perverse behaviors and how easily can be disguised with wordy ideas claiming sustainability. Our main goal is to remark how architecture could be a site of radical political activism and the importance that the sociopolitical and economic context has in our architectural responses. Without revising the basis of our productive, mobility and leisure model; posing any architectural solution would be as relevant as fabricate t-shirts, pins and cups to promote another hotel.
The pledges goes from 5 US$ up to 100,000 US$. As rewards we have key chains, T-shirts, mugs and for the higher pledge, a dinner with the Costa Concordia captain with views over the ship floating quietly beside the wonderful landscape of the island.
Decorate your intentions [and do whatever you want]
On the web-site of Micoperi [the company that had been awarded the contract by Costa Crociere to refloat and tow away the Costa Concordia], we can read:
“The plan also includes measures to safeguard the island of Giglio’s tourism and wider economy. Salvage workers’ presence will not have any significant impact on the availability of hotel accommodation on the island during the summer season. The main operating base will be located on the mainland at nearby Civitavecchia, where equipment and materials will be stored, thereby avoiding any impact on Giglio’s port activities.”
The architectural proposal of refloating the cruise is based on the salvage works that have been done. Instead of removing the wreck, we propose to refloat it using cranes and cables, which is difficult but part of the already approved process.
Once the ship is refloated and stabilized over the subsea platform, it will be reinforced using sponsons and holbacks. Then the new “Hotel Concordia” will be ready for the opening and to host all the tourist that will arrive to the Giglio Island captivated by the beauty of the surroundings.
The salvage works pointed that “As was the case with the removal of the fuel, we have sought to identify the best solution to safeguard the island and its marine environment and to protect its tourism.” [sic]. From the removal of fuel works and some other subsea works, we have designed a series of objects that will be given as the rewards for the different pledges of the crowdfounding campaing.
Once acquired and decorating our shelves such stuff will be intriguing enough to transmit this paradox of capitalism leaked in the behaviour of collectivity. We will stare at them and believe we are “promoting” growing, ecological design, improve economy while helping reverse a tetric scenario. But deep inside us, we all now that it is only pure fireworks that will soon fade into the night.
This project is a competition entry for New Concordia Island hosted by ICSplat. New Concordia Island Contest aims to rethink the disaster of the ship Costa Concordia as exceptional opportunity to imagine the future of the wreck and that of the Island of Giglio. It is also a chance to wonder about needs for architecture to build new landscapes on traces and remains of a traumatic event.
Our proposal “Hotel Concordia. Don’t Let Your Dreams Sink“, was developed together with Eva Papamargariti [Larissa, Greece] and Vassiliki Maria Plavou [Volos, Greece] and received an honorable mention from the jury composed by:
Cristina Díaz Moreno – Efrén García Grinda, AMID (cero9), Madrid
Andrea Bartoli, FARM CULTURAL PARK, Favara
Luca Emanueli, SEALINElab, Ferrara
Eva Franch i Gilabert, STOREFRONT Director, New York
Joseph Grima, DOMUS Director, Milan
Geoff Manaugh, BLDGBLOG, Los Angeles
Marco Navarra, NOWA, Caltagirone
Lori Nix, New York
François Roche, R&Sie(n), Paris
Italo Rota, Milan
Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, Atelier Bow Wow, Tokyo
 Tripsmarter: remixed from Kickstarter, the crowd-funding website for creative projects. Other visual samples taken from Goteo
 Francois Roche. Reclaim Resi[lience]stance. http://www.new-territories.com/blog/?p=757