Once we complete the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, there’ll be a lot of unused oil rigs sitting around. One architecture firm, the Morris design team, already has an idea that’s making waves: turning them into oceanic eco-resorts. Their ‘Rig Hotel’ concept reuses an abandoned oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, transforming it into a luxury resort offering amenities like boating, snorkeling, and diving as well as acting as a destination for conferences and business meetings.
Situated in the middle of the ocean, the Rig Hotel will need to be as autonomous as possible, generating all of it’s own power from renewable energy, most notably via a large vertical axis wind turbine affixed to one of its foundation towers. Wind power tends to be far more efficient off-shore than on-shore, and the turbine will meet a significant portion of the Rig’s energy demands. Wave energy generators will be buoyed nearby with undersea cables to transmit the power. Solar panels will be affixed on the sides and top of the rig. Additionally, geothermal heat pumps will take advantage of the consistent water temperatures at lower sea levels to aid with heating and cooling of the interior rooms. All of these power systems can easily be integrated into the existing rig infrastructure.
The Oil Rig Resort and Spa will provide unparalleled views of the Gulf through patron’s rooms as well as a glass lobby floor. The lobby will be naturally lit with ambient light, which will be reflect the ocean. A central core will be filled with water, which acts as a ballast to help stabilize the platform during stormy conditions. This central core will also host theatrical performances much like the Cirque du Soliel show ‘O’ in Las Vegas. Guests will be able to view the show from their own room every night.
This is a brilliant example of how creative we can really get with using what we already have and turning it into something better and greener. Fascinating concept, and one we hope isn’t too far from becoming reality.