Four Dutch designers—Chris Collaris, Ruben Esser, Sander Bakker and Patrick van der Gronde—have envisioned a sustainable design of re-use for a discarded oil tanker in the Southern Gulf Region, which they have entitled The Black Gold. They believe that the oil tanker is the "perfect icon" for representing "the geographic, economic and cultural history of the Arabic oil states" – an icon which they predict will become more and more obsolete as the supply of crude oil is moved away from shipping and into pipe infrastructure.
"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 pretensions. 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 pretensions of cultural expansion of the Arab states have been discussed and criticized more often." As an antidote to "an overdose of pretentious iconic buildings," their proposal seeks to "change the function of the discarded mega oil tanker in a sustainable and functional way" and ensuring that "the anchored ship can be kept as a true icon."
From the designers. The clear structure of storage tanks within the ship's volume creates possibilities for adaptation of new interior functional uses. The double steel walls are able to facilitate a sustainable climatic façade for the vessel, which makes the internal climate convenient for ship visits and short stays. The enormous base floor area accommodates a highly flexible potential for large scale event-based uses. Places for longer stays or exceptional acoustic demands can easily be accommodated in extra box structures within the vessels’ body.