Turn offshore oil rigs into futuristic housing? The ultimate social distancing

Art and architecture web magazine DesignBoom featured a fascinating conceptual project from French firm XTU architects that converts offshore oil rigs into futuristic housing. The images look like they came straight out of a science fiction film.

DesignBoom runs a DIY submissions feature where readers submit their own work for publication. XTU’s submission is called “x_lands,” and DesignBoom describes the concept as “fantastical.” They’ve got that right.

The concept looks at life after oil, and in particular, what to do with all the offshore platforms that have been built in the last century to drill for the earth’s natural resources.

This project imagines the industrial monoliths transformed into poetic, habitable, and exotic projects, or in other words, ‘x_lands.’

Each concept features a lot of natural greenery, along with some wind turbines for clean energy. Perhaps the waterfalls generate hydroelectricity? The photos also feature drones, presumably for incoming and outgoing deliveries.

Electrek’s Take

These photos are intriguing: They capture both my imagination and attention. I find myself fantasizing about what it would be like to live on these oil rigs that have been converted into green energy islands. (OK, is it really surprising that I’m captivated by these now, when we should all be social distancing?)

I think you’d really have to like your (healthy) neighbors, seeing how you couldn’t just go for a walk. (But maybe you could go for a boat ride?) Plus, the oil rigs would have to be thoroughly cleaned of pollutants in order to be made habitable, and the housing structures on the rigs would have to be incredibly resilient to adverse weather, being that they’re on open water.

This would certainly be an unusual and rather isolated way to live, but from seemingly crazy ideas come great, practical concepts. Think radical fashion paraded down catwalks — it inspires and then goes mainstream.

What do you think about XTU’s oil-rig-turned-housing concepts? Let us know in the comment section below.

All photos: XTU architects via DesignBoom

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at michelle@9to5mac.com. Check out her personal blog.