A Light Sign for Rijeka


Project not implemented

Year of designing:



Public, Culture


Adriatic, 14.5. 14° 30' East of Greenwich, Kostrena,
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Vladi Bralić, Zdenko Sila (†), Zvonimir Kamenar


Dr. Anton Peršin

Additional projects:

Fotografija: Branko Kukurin

LIGHT SIGN OF RIJEKA’S IDENTITY: For some time now there is a need for Rijeka to get stronger sign of its identity. As there is a meridian (14° 30' east longitude) passing nearby, we came to the idea of projecting a light ray down the imaginary meridian as a sign of city’s identity. The basic idea of ​​ has multiple meanings.

GEOGRAPHICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Geographically, the idea is to attractively point to Rijeka Meridian. The Meridian would, by spatial definition of meridian plane, indicate the two lines that are crossed with each other (geometric postulate). In the area of ​​Rijeka bay the lines that define the meridian plane would be generated with using light beams aimed skyward from two strong light sources.

AS A NAUTICAL SYMBOL: The meridian 14° 30' east longitude passes through coastal Kostrena and Bakar, places with a long nautical tradition. The meridian is the basic element of maritime navigation, so its underlining can decently represent the symbol of Maritime Affairs and Nautical tradition.

SIGN AS SYMBOL OF THE CITY: Rijeka is a city where people of different languages intertwine, different of culture and of roots. It is therefore necessary to encourage native citizens' identity by creating distinctive symbols of the city. Similarly to the Eifel Tower in Paris, the Statue of Liberty in New York and the Cathedral Zagreb, Rijeka would attain a modern light sign approvable by all of its citizens.
URBAN AND AESTHETIC SIGNIFICANCE: At night, Rijeka is a sight that stretches about 20km of lights, towers, cranes and silhouettes of ships on docks. The beauty of this nocturnal panorama would be enriched with a new light sign of light blue color, visible from the wider area of ​​Rijeka Bay. However, the light sigh would be visible from many other spaces in the city. Besides that, the character of the beams of light would provide additional effects in various microclimate conditions (haze, low clouds, southerly winds, rain, storm etc.). Shortly before midnight, the light beams would begin to run out of their basic circulate position, and would set up perpendicular to the horizon. After that, the beam would be extinguished.

TRAFFIC ROLE: The light sign would be visible from a greater distance (in a radius of 25km). In this way, the sign could be clearly and timely noticed when accessing the city from Trieste and Ljubljana, Zagreb, Split, Istria (Učka Tunnel) and the island of Krk (Krk Bridge). The fact that the light sign could be seen from the Rijeka motorway hub at every arrival of passengers to that specific part of drive which shows a first glance at the Adriatic sea.

While leaving the city, the sign would signify the farewell to this part of the Mediterranean; and to those arriving from the sea, the sign would function as a lighthouse that marks the arrival to the large spatial shell of Rijeka Bay, surrounded by mountain ranges, with lighted city in the foothills. The nocturnal panorama of the illuminated Rijeka, when arriving by a ship, could provide one of the most beautiful visual experiences. Arriving by train from Zagreb, the sign could be seen from different and interesting altitude viewpoints.  

TOURISTIC SIGNIFICANCE: The light sign would be equally attractive for transit tourists (Rijeka is the biggest transit tourist city in the country), as well as for tourists staying in Opatija, Rijeka, Krk and the Crikvenica Riviera. Tourists would remember the light sign they saw on their vacation and would gladly encounter with it when visiting anew. In this sense, the light sign of Rijeka could be included in the sequence of characteristic and distinctive features of the Adriatic area.

OTHER MEANINGS: In the era of holidays, the visual effect of the sign could be enriched with fireworks and smoke effects. The symbol of the city could be used as a visually recognizable motif that marks the beginning of broadcasting local television. The sign would be suitable to use for propaganda purposes (postcards, brochures, calendars, posters, souvenirs etc.). The Light Sign of the City could probably serve many other purposes that are difficult to predict.

The authors of the visual idea for Light Sign of Rijeka Project went from occupations of the urban population for its own space/city. Their design takes into account the fact that a meridian passes closely to the city. Visually pinpointing that meridian (with the help of two beams) signifies for the recognition of Rijeka in the wider area. That sign is also a symbol of Maritime Affairs and symbol of the city and it interprets its geographic, urban-aesthetic, traffic and tourist meaning.