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.

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Source: Designboom

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  • I think that this is a very smart way of somehow recycling huge tankers into a sort of Smart Villages. I wonder if the possibility of moving it from a port to another is foreseen or not.

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  • One or two tankers or cargo/container ships would make a good "core" for a REAL LIFE Sea Stead-like complex. Oh, sure. It doesn't have the pretty architectural look of all the endless daydream projects of the past 50 years. But empty, self powered, and proven seaworthy cargo/container ships are actually floating on the ocean TODAY and the pretty, untested, un-built designs are ALL still only pretty pictures and computer images with Fantasy-land financing. A personal yacht or houseboat could dock with and/or attach to a slightly modified, seagoing tanker or cargo/container ship in international waters RIGHT NOW, instead of waiting for fulfillment of the nebulous promise of the <i><b>latest</b></i> five year "plan". Google "oil tanker for sale" or "container ships for sale" and browse the listings: Here are just 2 examples: http://horizonship.com/ship-category/tankers-for-sale/crude-oil-tankers-for-sale/ http://www.boattrader.com/browse/commercial-vessels/make/oil-tanker <b>And it doesn't take multi-millions of dollars to get started! Here is a "Sea Stead Starter" for only 175,000 Euros:</b> http://www.shipned.com/stock/bunkering-tanker-1380-t A REAL sea stead could <i>start</i> with a used tanker providing fuel (a seagoing service station so visitors can refuel), and power for the associated cargo/container ship(s) (converted to shops and apartments) and the visiting private yachts and sea going houseboats. Once a core sea stead is established (preferably in calm, equatorial, international waters), it can be incrementally improved by prototyping and testing the structural elements of the innumerable dreamland projects. Enough with the fancy dreams, already! If we wait for the perfect sea stead design before one is built, we will indeed wait forever--as we are now doing! Stop dreaming and start building some REAL sea steads.

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  • They'll need to allow for sea level rise when the old contents of the ships results in global warming. I still have a Loompanics book on the shelves called "Free Space" exploring strategies for living space outside traditional nation state jurisdictions. One possibility was taking old tankers, loading them with soil and then scuttling them on one of the Pacific Atolls that lies just beneath the waves to make an instant island. The idea above feels remarkably like this. Then there's the abandoned aircraft carrier arcology from Snowcrash. The big problems with all these ideas is the cost of moving the abandoned ship. And the scrap value of the metal. Getting and maintaining control is not going to be cheap.

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