Saving Our Maritime Icons – A Panoramic View of Heritage Lighthouses in Hong Kong

Department: Real Estate and Construction
Members of Research Team: S.W. Poon, K.Y. Deng, K.Y. Ma, K.F. Man, T. W. Tsin, W.M. Leung, J. Farrell, WinsonWo (Photographer)

Lighthouse

A lighthouse is a tower, building, or a structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses, and to serve as navigational aid for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways.

  • Lighthouses mark dangerous coastlines, hazardous shoals, reefs and safe entries to harbours, and can assist in aerial navigation.
  • Once widely used, the number of operational lighthouses has declined due to the expense of maintenance and use of electronic navigational systems (e.g. Global positioning system, radar).

(Wikipedia)

Use and Feeling of Lighthouses

  • Guide ships in the right direction
  • Reliable indicator of the course and position
  • Avoid danger
  • Historical significance
  • Warm feeling
  • Represent light and hope

Lighthouse construction

  • Materials of tower structure: brick, granite, concrete, cast iron, metal frame.
  • Tower foundation: strip or raft foundation
  • Spiral staircase: granite, concrete, metal
  • Lens: refractive condensing lens made by crystal glass to magnify the light
  • Vent: inside the lamp room to emit high heat generated by the lamp
  • Rotation mechanism: rotator or hammer
  • Glass curtain: protects the lamp from wind, rain and erosion from the sea
  • Cover: shape-umbrella, dome, conical. Primarily made from copper-based material, with ventilation hood, exhaust pipe, lightning rod, direction indicator, wind vane.
  • Colour: White, red, black, and their combination

 

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UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG
FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE