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This is What We Should Do with Old Oil Tankers

A Dutch design team wants to transform them into floating villages.

by Roy Schutte
Feb 20 2017, 5:15am

This article was originally published on June 18, 2015 but we think it still rocks!

As oil is becomes more scarce, the oil tankers that ferry black gold across the world may cease to exist in the future. Dutch architect Chris Collaris along with art directors Ruben Esser, Sander Bakker, and Patrick van der Gronde, imagine a new use for these abandoned oil tankers—as entire floating villages.

Chris Collaris tells Creators where the idea for The Black Gold originated. "The four of us come together to discuss designs or things we've stumbled upon on the internet. During these conversations we talked about the funny and futuristic buildings in oil countries like Qatar, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai. One building is weirder than the other. From this, the oil tanker idea arose," says Collaris.

The team looked at the history of these oil countries and concluded that their history is actually pretty short. Collaris says, "The oil tankers made these countries wealthy. So these are the icons of oil countries. Why wouldn't we do something with it?"

The idea is to anchor the oil tankers to the shore. They can be used for different things like bars and restaurants. Image: Chris Collaris, Ruben Esser, Sander Bakker (Less Agency) and Patrick van der Gronde (Less Agency).

The four Dutch designers realized that these huge ships could be used for many different purposes. They could offer space for hotels, apartments, civic centers, and theaters. The walls, which are made up of several layers of steel, ensure a pleasant climate within the vessels. The enormous surface of the tankers can be used for organizing large events, and because the ships are so high, several stories can be built, making room for different types of spaces.

"Secretly we have been working on this for a while now. We think this is the right moment to present it to the world, because we received many positive reactions from people," Collaris tells us. The oil tankers have a lot of potential, but Collaris realizes that it will be a gigantic (financially and physically) project. "We need a big investment to realize this project. We are currently talking to the oil countries to see if they are interested."

3D models give a better understanding to the construction and possibilities of the oil tankers. Image: Chris Collaris, Ruben Esser, Sander Bakker (Less Agency), and Patrick van der Gronde (Less Agency).

 The cleaning of the oil tankers is a difficult task. Oil is a hard substance to remove and when this isn't done properly it causes serious health risks. Not every oil tanker is suitable for the project. The team analyzes different types of tankers, how old they are, what kind of walls they have and in which way the tankers were handled throughout the years.

The tankers need to be anchored to the shore, which means that Collaris' team has to consider the strong current and tides. They are working with experts to find potential placement for these tankers in front of the shore, making sure the tankers can hold their position through the changing tides and currents.

The inside of the oil tankers could look like this. Do you see the pool on the roof?

Chris says the project has gained a lot of attention in Western countries due to its environmentally-friendly solution for the abandoned oil tankers. Companies in countries like India and Bangladesh buy these abandoned oil tankers for their iron. The deconstruction of these ships is harmful for the environment and this work often causes fatalities. The Black Gold offers a great alternative to this problem.

Collaris is confident that The Black Gold can succeed. "There is a lot going on in these oil countries. The World Cup will probably be held in Qatar and Abu Dhabi invests billions of dollars in real estate and tourism. It would be great if this project can contribute to forming an identity for this countries," concludes Chris.

See more Chris Collaris architecture projects on his website.

This article was originally published on Creators Netherlands. 

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