Oil rigs are often seen as a symbol of our reliance on fossil fuels, but what if we could make them into something sustainable? Morris Architects, a 70-year-old international design firm, thinks it can do just that with its Oil Rig Platform Resort and Spa Concept.
The architecture firm’s idea, that won the Grand Prize for Radical Innovation in Hospitality, is to refit one of the Gulf Coast’s 4,000 oil rigs into an exclusive eco-resort. Morris Architects envisions a roof-top white sand beach, deep water training facilities, a reef lobby; with views of the Gulf, and plentiful windsurfing, jetskiing, and waterskiing.
While functioning oil rigs generate power from burning oil in thermal generators, Morris’ eco-resort would be powered entirely by wind power, wave energy generators, and solar panels.
At first glance, Morris’ idea seems like a viable alternative to the removal of decommissioned oil rigs, which is expensive and often results in the destruction of surrounding ecosystems. But rigs can be unstable–if weight isn’t properly distributed, they risk capsizing–and the process of bringing resort guests to the rig would likely require petroleum-based fuel.
Instead of spending millions of dollars on luxury resorts, research efforts should focus on the safe removal of oil rigs.
[Via Earth Times]