Structurally unique, lightweight and sculptural, the Antenna Ippocampo sits atop the Colle Ballaria above Salerno, Italy. The concept finds its origins with the mythical Ippocampi (Italian for hippocampus, commonly known as a seahorse) and Salerno’s eternal relationship with the sea.
The structural organization of the Ippocampo is fascinating. Incredibly strong yet lightweight, a sectional analysis of the vertebral column yields twenty-five structural profiles. Furthermore, a sectional analysis of the Ippocampo tail provides an ideal antenna morphology - a central structural core protected by lightweight, flexible plates. The twenty-five structural profile rings are then arranged from the base of the antenna to the top of the antenna at intervals of 6 meters for a total height of 150 meters.
The central antenna core is a hollow steel shaft. The steel shaft supports twenty-five steel rings suspended from tension cables. An ETFE membrane is stretched over the external structure providing an ethereal skin that gives the Antenna Ippocampo form. The ETFE membrane has embedded LED lights and photovoltaic panels that create a dynamic illuminated surface that will signify events occurring in Salerno. The telecommunications equipment is attached to the antenna core at varying elevations and orientations. Space has been designated for 75 licenses and broadband internet as well as future expansion. Access to the equipment is through an internal staircase within the hollow steel shaft.