Adaptive Re-Use, 2021


Adaptive Re-Use
ASCA Steel Competition, Summer 2021


Published in 325 Magazine


The Gulf Of Mexico,
29.1002, -87.6652


Rhinoceros 6
Adobe Suite
Vray 5

Project Description

Given the inevitable collapse of the oil industry due to renewable energy, offshore drilling rigs are being decommissioned as their operating risks and costs no longer outweigh their benefits. Offshore drilling rigs however, being some of the most stable structures in the world, are extremely difficult and environmentally-taxing to decommission. Eco-Rig is an adaptive revitalization model of an existing offshore structure. In revitalizing the complex through a prefabricated steel structured intervention, the complex embodies the transition from natural gas to sustainable energies in its ability to transform a deteriorating environment into one teaming with life.


In contrast to the old, the new structure is conducive to growth and regeneration through its public and environmental program.


The existing foundation is used as a platform to impose a new structure. The modular structure holds residences, amenities, and services


Concrete Gravity Based offshore oil rigs are practically irremovable. Without intervention, these structures will remain for over 300 years before degradation


Noah Spivak



A Topological Re-invention

The oil rig is re-invented from top to bottom to function as a Eco-retreat. The oil derrick at the top is used as an observation tower. The center of the oil rig base is used as a museum with preserved features such as oil drills and basins and the main platform is used as a public space

Orbital modules are imposed on the exterior of the structure for residency and the underside of the oil rig, while normally structural, is also transformed into an underwater observation deck with a coral inducing lattice.

Storm-Ready Retreat

The residential modules are equipped with corrugated steel shutters which can open and close in response to the rough weather conditions of the Gulf of Mexico

Orbital Modules

The module steel structure holds residences for tourists on the first two floors and an undulating set of ammenity modules with walkable roofs above.

Underwater Observation and Preservation

The concrete foundation of a gravity based oil rig are some of the largest and sturdiest structures on earth. While suitable for the structure a large oil platform these structures are extremely invasive and won't degrade for hundreds of years.

The underwater observation deck aims to bring coral life back to the rig, and help it sustain life, rather than tarnish it.

Coastal Attraction

What was once a desolate oil rig is now a center of attraction and awareness. Cruise ships and boats can dock and explore temporarily, or helicopters can transport longer term visitors.