Oil Platforms for Urban Revitalization

‘As our needs change, faster, cheaper and less energy-consuming solutions are required.”
–Charles Jencks/Nathan Silver, Adhocism: The Case for Improvisation

Recycling is over– it is time for reusing, repurposing, upcycling and making something new out of the detritus of the boom.”

Albuskjell 2/4-F is an oil platform that was erected in the middle of the North Sea in 1979. But now that its reservoir is dry, it needs to be dismantled and recycled. Norwegian architect Sverre Max Stenersen dreams of relocating it to the industrialized Ila neighborhood of Trondheim (as depicted in this computerized visualization).

Stenersen chose this location precisely because it is so dead and so starving for a new beginning. He hopes the obsolete oil platform will soon rise up out of the choppy waters of Ila’s inner harbor to breathe new life into the area.

The platform is supposed to disappear from its current home on the sea by 2013 at the latest. “Only the concrete foundations are allowed to remain in place,” Stenersen says. “The rest of the platform needs to be dismantled.” ConocoPhillips, the platform’s owner, says the disassembly process is already underway and that the work is supposed to already be completed in the summer.

Stenersen’s vision involves having huge cranes dismantle the old platform in its current location into its constituent modules. Then the roughly 19,000-metric-ton giant will be reassembled like a gigantic Lego set on the edge of the Trondheimsfjord.

Stenersen envisions having a huge ramp that both people and cars can use to get up onto the 40-meter-high platform, which has a surface area of 3,500 square meters (ca. 38,000 square feet). There, the architect wants to stack seven stories on top of each other and to install permanent cranes that can allow for any future expansion or modification. “One could have apartments here or scientific institutes,” Stenersen says.

The city’s dreary Ila quarter will surely benefit from the huge newcomer. “The best thing, though,” Stenersen adds, “would be a place where the people of Trondheim could meet.”

Still, it’s not clear just how realistic the chances are that Stenersen’s dream will ever come true. A spokesman for ConocoPhillips says that the platform could theoretically be moved to the Trondheimsfjord, but that someone would have to pay for it, and he declines to name a figure for how much the company would want for its steel scrap. Trondheim city officials haven’t said anything about the ambitious plan. And Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy hems and haws — but still refuses to supply an answer.

source: spiegel


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This entry was posted on April 21, 2011 by in architecture.
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