THE BLACK GOLD project explores a new sustainable potential of a discarded mega oil tanker ship. The mega oil tanker ship can be seen as the perfect icon representing the geographic, economic and cultural history of the Arabic oil states.
The unprecedented rosy financial prospects of the Arab states in the Southern Gulf region has led to an incredible amount of new buildings with iconic pretentions. Multiple new high rises, airports, science and technology centres, business schools and universities, hotel chains, shopping malls and museums have been built. In contrast to this gigantic flurry of new buildings, legitimate pretentions of cultural expansion of the Arab states have been discussed and criticized more often. The biggest concern in the newly grounded architectural culture of the post-global cities in the Gulf area can be described as an overdose of pretentious iconic buildings.
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.
Standing just one and a half decade after the threshold towards the present century, the world has entered a new era of globalization. The global financial crisis took hold in 2008 and inaugurated a far less oil industry-friendly era. The decreasing availability of natural oil supplies and the climate change consequences of burning fossil fuels has triggered a worldwide objective to produce cars, trucks and even airplanes that can run on eco-friendly fuel sources. The slowdown in the European and Chinese economy (in combination with an unchanged supply by Arabic oil states) caused a recent historic fall of crude oil price. Economy wise, still, earnings for tankers have held up well compared to ships that carry other goods, collectively known as dry bulk and container ships. But common earnings on oil tanker transportation will fall because of oversupply in crude oil and oil tanker ships, changing transportation systems as future transatlantic pipe connections. For this reason a growing fleet of relatively new vessels will not be used for what it has been built for.
THE BLACK GOLD project is an answer to the contemporary search for true iconic buildings in the Southern Gulf region. The renovated and converted mega oil tanker laid at anchor represents the new future of the Arabic States in Southern Gulf region as a true present icon.
Program and structure concept: The clear 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 enormous base floor area accommodates a highly flexible potential of big event-based uses. The inside height makes it possible to stack multiple open floor area’s or closed building volumes within the body of the ship. But also big open spaces for museum and cultural exhibition are within the ships’ enormous interior volume potential. Places for longer stay or exceptional acoustic demands can easily be accommodated in extra box structures within the vessels’ body. The enormous body of the ship can accommodate a serious village area. The renovated deck accommodates a swimming pool with glass bottom on top of the ships’ main entrance and a pedestrian scenic night route is accommodated on top of the former deck piping.
Copyright Design: Chris Collaris Design, together with Ruben Esser, Sander Bakker and Patrick van der Gronde