Dutch architect Chris Collaris and designers Ruben Esser, Sander Bakker and Patrick van der Gronde, saw a new sustainable potential in discarded mega oil tankers in the Southern Gulf Region. Their Black Gold project explores the possibility of converting them into complete floating villages.
The team embarked in a huge mission and prefigured the decline of crude oil dependency, in a future where excess supply of crude oil and vessels, along with possible installation of transatlantic pipe lines, will cause obsolescence of a growing number of oil tanker. The Black Gold Project aims to address this problem.
The enormous body of the anchored ship could accommodate an entire community and various facilities, such as hotels, homes, museums, conference centers and theaters. The structure of storage tanks within the oil tanker ship volume creates possibilities for adaptation of new inside functional uses.
The double steel walls are able to facilitate a sustainable climate buffer facade of the vessel, which makes the inside climate convenient for ship visits and short stay. The inside height makes it possible to stack multiple open floor areas, closed building and big open spaces. The project envisions also a glass-bottom swimming pool, a pedestrian route on top of the former deck piping and a roadway to allow transportation from the land-ground ship to the mainland.
According to the Netherlands-based designers, the rapid urbanization and westernization has give birth to pretentious, imitative architecture. By contrast, the mega oil-tanker serves as the perfect representation of the cultural, geographic and economic history of these oil-rich nations. “By changing the function of the discarded mega oil tanker in a sustainable and functional way, the anchored mega ship can be kept as a true icon of the Arabic States in Southern Gulf region into the present and next era” Chris Collaris says.