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Latest revision as of 12:07, 10 February 2018

Running Out Of Gas On The Fast Lane

Repurpose of abandoned drilling rigs in the North Sea (in 20-50 years)

Eventually either the oil and gas supply will be exhausted or society will develop methods to rely completely on eco-friendly energy sources. What will then happen to the oil industry and their factories and structures? In this hypothetical situation, offshore drilling rigs, structures made of billions of euros worth of steel and concrete, will need to be repurposed. These highly sophisticated platforms and jackets resist storms, frequent waves (resonance), and salt water. These abandoned rigs provide society with the opportunity to repurpose and even extend the site over and under water. This is the focus of my thesis.


Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling unit on fire 2010.jpg 161101 stop-deep-sea-drilling-in-EU-13-07-10.jpg

161101 maunsell-fort.jpg Offshore-Demolition.jpg

The idea is to maintain as much of the existing structure as possible to take advantage of the existing construction, which immediately drives down the costs. The rig also serves as fertile soil for a parasitic architecture. As an ever-growing structure, the first step requires addressing the base of the drilling rig, and then expanding. Due to the distance and the associated rough conditions, a new technique of building on the rig must be developed. A robotic manufacturing and production on site is worthy of further consideration. In that idea, materials can be delivered pre-fabricated to the rig’s offshore location, where the final assembly can be completed. Furthermore, research into certain (perhaps smart) materials, which can resist sea forces and are able to fit the desired architectural intentions, is required. As described earlier, the new parasite would grow incrementally on the platform. It is possible that the incremental process of growing and changing on the rig would never end: an ever growing, ever changing architecture (over decades), up to the scale of a small city. If that idea is found fruitful, an expansion system for structures must be developed. Relatedly, the immense structures underwater provide the opportunity for additional uses, while also creating the necessary soil to support structures.

The newly developed architecture can deliver various functions, which can be combined. In the future, it is possible to imagine a scenario of a network of small offshore cities, which have been developed out of useless drilling rigs. These different functions include housing, leisure (hotel), research/labs, education, renewable energy center (wind, water), revitalizing the sea, and connections/network of offshore rig islands.

The rough sea conditions and the depth at which these rigs are located reveal the biggest obstacles. Additionally, maintenance of the original structures is crucial. A plan for continued maintenance and upkeep must be developed and followed. Cultural aspects, such as the distance and associated isolation compared to onshore cities will play a major role and also requires consideration. Solutions for these concerns must be developed as soon as possible.

If society wants to keep driving on the fast lane, it needs to consider the transformation of drilling rigs after their expiration date. They provide solutions for densification of cities, repurposing existing structures, and thinking of new possibilities for the existing world.

160919 oil-rig ZF22pz2 red.gif

In The Meanwhile...

Repurposing/Recycling Approaches

160926 BNK Noah-Oasis-Oil-Rig-Skyscraper-eVolo-2015-2.jpg 160926 BNK Noah-Oasis-Oil-Rig-Skyscraper-eVolo-2015-4.jpg 161101 b62e0ee5730db462781c8da4a72c2e7e.jpg 161101 30be0b85e6490c76e53cb9a574514cbf.jpg

Demolishing Approaches

161101 pioneering-spirit.jpg 161101 VB10000web-9776.jpg


Statistic: Number of offshore rigs worldwide as of 2015, by region | Statista

Statistic: Deepwater and floating rigs worldwide as of July 1, 2016, by type and status | Statista

Rig Types + Specs

161024 condeep-platform.jpg 161024 fixed-platform rig.jpg 161024 jackup-rig rig.jpg 161024 semi-submersible rig.jpg 161024 spar-platform rig.jpg Examples

161031 condeep-rig ref.jpg 161031 fixed-rig ref.jpg 161031 jackup-rig ref.jpg 161031 semi-submersible-rig ref.jpg 161031 spar-rig ref.jpg

Plans Jackup Rig

Elevation + Floor Plan

161024 elevation.jpg 161024 top-view.jpg

Floor Plans

161024 decks-zoom.jpg


Growth Of North Sea Oil + Gas Production

Locations North Sea

161025 north-sea.jpg

Locations Dutch Shore

161025 north-sea dutch-shore.jpg

Possible Platforms


Formfinding Parameters

161024 formfinding parameters.jpg


161024 form empty.jpg 161024 form access.jpg

Incremental Growth + Parasitic Architecture

Potential On Existing Platform

161024 form floors.jpg 161024 form tower.jpg 161024 form structure.jpg

References + Inspiration

161101 lebbeus-woods war-and-architecture.jpg 161101 dezeen Movie-tour-of-Architecture-at-Show-RCA-2012-with-Alex-de-Rijke 1.jpg 161101 marc-fornes 141004-storefront-ny-010 s.jpg 160926 BNK 3df7ed70ac8900489d5d7642757113cbfdc57bdd m.jpg 161101 spftkill-design protohouse.jpg

Growth In Nature/Corals

161102 7fb54078cdc2976403a07cb396c7632d.jpg 161102 09 Shinkoku-SoftCoral3.jpg 161102 coral.jpg 161102 coral yellow big.jpg 161102 Millepora alcicornis (Branching Fire Coral).jpg 161102 pink-coral.jpg 161102 xLnKMg.jpg

Incremental Growth

161024 form structure growth.jpg 161024 form structure growth-2.jpg 161024 form structure growth-3.jpg

Design To Robotic Production

161101 roboticscar.jpg

Large Scale 3D Printing History

161102 CC Curve House.jpg 161102 CC o-WALL-TOP-VIEW-900.jpg 161102 hyperbody ceramic-3dphrl robotic3dprinting-02.jpg 161102 d-shape-3dp Radiol 05.jpg

Large Scale 3D Printing S-O-T-A

161102 dirrenberger 1-s2.jpg 161101 benjamin-dillenburger arabesque-wall.jpg 161102 dillenburger arabesque design development1-960x540.jpg 161102 softkill-protohouse print.jpg 161102 softkill render interior01.jpg

Latest 3D Printing Techniques

161101 iaac-anti-gravity-3d-printing-3.jpg 161101 iiac-mini-robots.jpg 161101 MX3D freewform-welding.jpg

On Site Robotic Production

161101 flying-machine-arena dronesbridge.jpg 161101 drone brick image-2.imageformat.lightbox.jpg 161101 Aufnahme und Transport eines mobilen Inspektionsroboters mit Hilfe eines fliegenden Armes xl.jpg 161101 KUKA youBot picture.jpg 161101 3D-printed-bridge-by-MX3D dezeen 01.jpg



Royal Delft

161102 Arctic-oil-campaign2.jpg