black gold project repurposes mega oil-tankers for land-based uses
black gold project repurposes mega oil-tankers for land-based uses black gold project repurposes mega oil-tankers for land-based uses
may 11, 2015

black gold project repurposes mega oil-tankers for land-based uses

black gold project repurposes mega oil-tankers for land-based uses
all images courtesy of chris collaris, ruben esser, sander bakker, & patrick van der gronde




high rise developments, airports, science and technology centers, universities, chain hotels, shopping malls, and museums now fill the deserts of the southern gulf region. the unprecedented financial boom of some arab states have caused the area great wealth, and with it an ever-increasing amount of cultural criticism and aversion towards examples of some of the world’s most unconsidered, pretentious architecture. to reconnect the area to the root cause of its mass-expansion, chris collaris design — along with ruben esser, sander bakker, and patrick van der gronde  — created the ‘black gold project’.

the ‘black gold’ concept ship




for the group of designers, the mega oil-tanker is the most accurate representation of the geographic, economic, and cultural history of the arabic oil states. however, due to the world’s societies looking with escalating urgency to quell dependency on fossil fuel based technologies, future decades may feature some unforeseen consequences. the first of which already took place, when in 2008 the united states, european, and chinese economies fell into a deep rut. this, combined with an unchanging supply, led to a historic fall in crude oil prices. while oil tanker profits have remained fairly consistent, oversupply of oil, ships, and the possibility of transatlantic pipe connections will eventually spell disaster for a growing fleet of vessels.

a roadway allows transportation from the land-ground ship to the mainland




the ‘black gold project’, aims to address this problem when it happens. the concept involves the conversion and renovation of mega oil-tankers for land-based. organization of interior storage volumes and tanks provide nearly infinite possibilities for adaptations and functional applications. double steel walls are able to facilitate a sustainable climate suited for either short or long visits. the enormous base area is able to accommodate huge-events, and the interior height makes it possible to stack multiple open or closed volumes within. possible uses include museums, cultural exhibitions, shopping, or if properly adapted, long-term residences. above, the renovated deck can provide scenic views and plenty of space for visitors to walk and socialize.

chris collar design black gold project designboom


the project repurposes unneeded mega-tankers

chris collar design black gold project designboom
the ‘black gold’ at sunset

concept section

chris collar design black gold project designboom
site plan

chris collar design black gold project designboom
floor plan



designboom has received this project through its ‘DIY submissions’ feature, which welcomes readers to submit their own work for publication. see more designboom readers submissions here.

  • Ya.. Just cut holes in the sides, steam-wash all the nasty out of the hull ..and wait 40yrs (?) for the bay to recover. (You could not tow it from Bangladesh it already cleaned…)


    jimcan says:
  • Or you could just recycle the steel (practically 100% of the ships).

    AllenC says:
  • interesting to see how they level the ship on a sloped shore.

    mArkW says:
  • Very interesting use of this type of vessel. I like the imaginative way the roadway is made of part of the development.
    There should be a better idea on how to integrate the hull into the land and surrounding waterway.

    Floyd Black says:
  • this is not a good idea…you are also forgetting effects of tides, currents and waves…the ship will break in half. and electrolosis will eat it up too. better to reuse steel for another purpose.

    trimtab21 says:
  • As if!

    phil walters says:
  • … could be used as portable or permanent airports for islands that have that need …

    nikos says:
  • I’d find better use like desalinization plants or tidal harvesters – or both.

    Herbie Knan says:
  • So who wants a rancid rusting smelly slick-producing hulk on their beautiful beach – with asphalt to get to it…anyone?

    mikka says:
  • Show us your projects before you make your comments…

    jfbart says:
  • Granted there are practical issues already mentioned above – but the concept is magnificent. The ULTIMATE Upcycle!!

    Eda says:

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