Proximity Island – Result Story




The oil and oil-gas platforms, more than 8000 present all over the planet until a few decades ago, have gradually been dismantled to free the seas from the strong pollution they cause. The so-called decommissioning process of fixed platforms is usually carried out by removing them entirely from the marine environment in which they are located, bringing them to the ground and then demolishing or disassembling them to sell valuable equipment or, in some cases, revamping the best pieces for later reuse in other fields.

As offshore settlements, these kinds of structures, due to their strong visual and evocative impact, constitute an excellent example of industrial archaeology in any sense which, however, only in rare cases has been known to be converted into spaces of civil architecture as artificial islands.

Despite the environmental political conflicts that they constitute nowadays, it is undeniable that from an architectural landscape point of view they have great visual strength and constitute a kind of punctual exaltation of the horizon line.

One of the biggest problems caused by the dismantling of these structures is the costs. Recent studies have validated that re-use and redevelopment are much cheaper than, for example, completely new construction and partly even more economical in reference to the resale of disassembled parts.

The brief was to use Reuse an Oil platform dismissed by its original function: Creation of a Museum of Open Waters.

The purpose of this competition is the future use of industrial structures that have lost their original function, imagining that in the very near future oil and its derivatives will hopefully be replaced completely by renewable energy available to all people. The concept of offshore must become much more an intermediate concept such as the foreshore in order to create fluid transition architectures in terms of spaces and functions. In this way, the water, the sea, becomes the leitmotif for the creation of a water museum focused on the three main aspects of the sea: The Ocean as the sea of the distance, The Mediterranean for proximity and The Adriatic as the sea of intimacy.

This museum is only for temporary exhibitions, Workshops, installation but above all the space itself must reflect the metaphors of the sea shown above. it will also have to interact with a small block of houses for short stays, for use by artists, students, marine biologists and refugees as an integral part of the history of the sea.

The competition was curated by Cesare Batelli.

The jury for the competition consisted of esteemed designers, professionals and academicians from around the world. The Lead Jurors for the competitions were as follows:

Yannis Graos, CEO, Yannis Graos Architects + Engineers, Greece
Antonello Marotta, Architect, Writer and Researcher (PhD), Department of architecture, University of Sassari, Italy
Yuri Avvakumov, Principal Architect, Studio Agitarch, Russia
Massimiliano Ercolani, Architect and Artist, DoKC Lab / Ercolani Bros., Italy
Donatella Cusma, Co-Founder, principal, Claret-Cup, USA

The winning projects are as below:

ArchiPelago: The Sea Satellite

Project by: Jákob CazingerDiana KonovalovaAnna Orbanic SARA ORBANIĆ

Description: ArchiPelago is a revitalized oil station re-contextualizing the idea how abandoned industrial constructions in the middle of the sea can be reused. It offers new dimensions that emerge from the metaphors of water and introduces contemporary/sustainable design ideas to combine multi-purpose functions in offshore conditions.


Project by: Daria Verkeenko

Description: Project explores the possible relationship between architecture and coral reefs. The concept is to transform a massive metal structure into a natural formation resembling a rock or cave right in the middle of the sea.

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