The new seafront of Rimini is illuminated with a great R. This is not a simple line of graphic design, nor is it the expression of a search for an original subject. This R is the symbol designed in 1929 by Adolfo Busi that became the most famous bathing resort manifesto created for the promotion of the town as a center for tourism.
The project was initially developed from indications by the Miralles Tagliabue studio, which defined the guidelines for public and private operations in the Parco del Mare. It is not an abstract symbol but refers to a specific city identity that in 2008, after 80 years, was given a new contemporary meaning by the designer Marco Morosini. His updated manifesto for the seaside resort is genuinely molded after Busi’s image, to which it remains faithful and which has now been transformed by Neri from a graphic symbol to a lamppost.
The new waterfront extends for 6 km, its wooden paving twisting among the grass and the dunes beside the beach to create a raised platform on which different types of mobility coexist.
The great seafront project has transformed the landscape and mobility of a vital part of the city. For a better appreciation of the profoundly innovative value of this transformation, it is necessary to retrace the history of the lighting in this urban space, which has continually evolved to reach its present-day apex. The historical images shown here bear witness to the important role assigned during the 20th century to the seafront, which has ever since represented the prime attraction of this seaside resort.
During the 1930s, the great avenues alongside the sea were illuminated by two typologies of lampposts with various components in cast iron: a short typology with a lighting fixture in glass, mounted on the balustrade overlooking the sea, while a taller, art nouveau style lamppost illuminated the inland side.
The two typologies were modified in the 1950s, but did not disappear. The material changed; cast iron was replaced by steel, first for the shorter lampposts and then, towards the 60s, for the taller ones, which lost their decorated plinths but retained their art nouveau arms.
Around the later 60s and early 70s, this typology was definitively replaced with a classic lamppost in curved steel.
Today’s new intervention is not limited to the artefacts – it has transformed the places and the landscape. It embraces the great “R” as a symbol of these great transformations.