Cultures of Energy would like to congratulate Rice School of Architecture students Joanna Luo, Alex Yuen, andWeijaSong, winners of this years Odebrecht award in sustainability for their project “Adressing the Logistical Crisis of Offshore Oil Extraction: A New Model of Water-based Urbanism Off the Southeast Coast of Brazil.”
This project details the findings of research through the design of a new model of urbanism centered on offshore oil extraction. Situated in the Southern Atlantic, the project lies along the coast of Brazil where exploration and drilling in the pre-salt of the Campos and Santos Basin is under way. This initiative for the project is propelled by a desire on the part of the Brazilian energy company Petrobras to relocate the region’s workforce offshore on ‘floating frontier islands’, as rigs are set up increasingly further from shore. Design and research occurred at two scales: those of the masterplan and the island. The masterplan stretches along a territory approximately 600km long around a high concentration of oil rigs. The proposed system relies on centralized pipelines as opposed to shuttle tankers to readdress how oil is transferred from rig to land. Several types of stationary and moving islands are proposed to establish a region that is able to serve ongoing oil extraction and sustain an expected population of 50,000. While each island serves a specific purpose, they are each tied together by the masterplan so as to create a system that is greater than the sum of its individual parts.