Monday, February 16, 2009

Oil Platforms Turned Eco-Resorts

One legacy of being an expat is that you will occasionally make a fool of yourself in your host country. I remember my first Southern California night, looking at the ocean, and marveling at "all those beautifully lit cruise boats" on the horizon, i.e. oil rigs.
Was it so foolish to mistake oil rigs for vacation destinations? Maybe not. With the oil industry's obsolescence off our coastline, Curbed LA reports that "Morris Architects, a worldwide architectural firm with offices in Los Angeles recently won the top prize in a hospitality design design contest for their award-winning 'Oil Rig Resort, Spa, and Aquatic Adventure,' a design concept that transforms your standard Gulf Coast oil rig into a sustainable resort."

"There are approximately 4,000 oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico varying in size, depth and mobility that will be decommissioned within the next century," says Morris Architects' fact sheet. "If a deck on one of these rigs is about 20,000 square feet, then there is potentially 80 million square feet of programmable space just off the coast of the United States. The current method for rig removal is explosion, which costs millions of dollars and destroys massive amounts of aquatic life. What if these rigs were recommissioned as exclusive resort islands? Could the Gulf be America’s Dubai and the rig the artificial island on which to build it? This project examines the possibilities of creating a self-sufficient, eco-friendly high-end resort experience in our own backyard - the Gulf of Mexico."

Bonus: the guest rooms are pre-fabricated and designed to be transported as standard cargo containers. "Brilliant," says Curbed LA. BLDG BLOG and its readers add their two cents. Great imagery via Curbed LA and BLDG BLOG. Update: more via Inhabitat.
image Morris Architects

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