Architectural renderings show abandoned oil tankers re-imagined as floating museums

A Dutch architect has released renderings of his plan to turn one of the hundreds of massive oil tankers broken down every year for scrap into a mixed-use community within the hulls of the ship.

The project, dubbed “Black Gold,” would turn an abandoned oil tanker into a huge event space that could also house museums, restaurants and hotels.

The architect, Chris Collaris, told Fast Company that he’s targeting cities on the Arabian Penninsula like Abu Dhabi and Dubai, where there’s been an appetite for ambitious architecture. But he didn’t say whether any developers have taken him up on the idea.

Collaris laid out his plan for the multi-structure village within the hull of one of these tankers in a press release:

The enormous base floor area accommodates a highly flexible potential of big event-based uses. The inside height makes it possible to stack multiple open floor areas or closed building volumes within the body of the ship. But also big open spaces for museum and cultural exhibition are within the ships’ enormous interior volume potential.

Architects dreaming up new ways to use old tankers could soon have plenty of ships to choose from — as oil prices were collapsing in late 2014 and early 2015, the rate of oil tankers being demolished spiked, according to the Wall Street Journalwith the tonnage of tankers sold for scrap up 348 percent this year.