Waterworld Realized: Oil Rigs Become Luxury Hotels

Morris Architects, a worldwide architectural firm with offices in Los Angeles (Morris is behind the under-construction Anaheim GardenWalk Hotel) recently won the top prize in a hospitality 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 an sustainable resort. Brilliant. Description of the project via Morris Architects' fact sheet:

"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. 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."

And here's your prefab angle: The guest rooms are pre-fabricated, designed to be transported out to the rig as standard cargo container.

Each room “unit” unfolds and extends to the usable configuration. (You can see the unfolding taking place in this shot.) Closer to home, an ABC 7 report reported last year on a movement to keep California's coastal rigs in place after the oil companies leave because of concerns about the wildlife that attach themselves to the base of the rigs. Another alternative is simply to chop off the tops of these rigs and leave the underwater base. This option seems more fun.

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