|Studio Master:||Kanu Kumar Das, Shajib Paul; Supervisor: Amit Imtiaz|
|University:||Chittagong University of Engineering & Technology (CUET)|
Notes from the student:
Sangu-A is the first offshore gas rig project in Bangladesh. This gas field was discovered in 1996 in the Bay of Bengal 35-40 km away from the land near Salimpur, Chattogram. In 1998 the offshore gas rig was built by Petrobangla with the help of two international companies Cairns Ltd. and Santos Ltd. Later in 2013, due to lack of gas production, the offshore gas rig was decommissioned and abandoned.
An offshore oil rig is a large infrastructure containing facilities for well drilling to explore, extract, store, and process petroleum and natural gas that lies in rock formations beneath the seabed. There are about 175 offshore rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and 184 in the northern sea. After these gas reservoirs run out of gas the rig structures are abandoned in the middle of the sea as the cost of removing a shallow-water rig is almost around 5-20 million USD varying in size.
An official of Petrobangla, seeking anonymity, said, “though the Sangu gas field has not been used since its shut down, BDT one crore is being spent for its maintenance every year.” So, the aim of this project is to show how architecture can revive such an aquatic infrastructure like Sangu-A through adaptive reuse, which will define a starting point for a long-term strategy of reusing designated abandoned aquatic infrastructures as an alternative to demolishing.
Being situated in the middle of the Bay of Bengal, Sangu-A has the potential to act as a satellite station for marine and oceanographic research. This abandoned rig can be repurposed to create a facility for investigating sea life. It further offers the potential to become a visitor center for tourists and a coast guard check post to enhance ocean security. Accordingly, the proposed facility comprises separate areas for researchers, visitors, and service goods in three different vertical layers. On the upper floors, under the existing platform, the administration and service zones of the facility are placed. Laboratories, restaurants, exhibition spaces, visitor accommodations, etc. are located on multiple floors above the platform. Four types of marine laboratories are proposed. These are: Marine Physics, Marine Chemistry, Marine Biology, and Marine Geology – all are designed with proper ancillary facilities. A total of 48 rooms are designed for accommodating visitors and researchers. Proper fire safety, helipad, etc. are also a part of the facility.
The proposal also integrates self-generating energy production systems within the structure. It utilizes solar energy and wave-current as renewable sources for electricity generation. The façades are designed to host vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT) and photovoltaic panels. It is anticipated that combinedly both systems can generate sufficient energy required to run the facility.
The proposed adaptive re-use of the gas rig can possibly provide a new life to an old structure rather than demolishing it. The studio project is also an attempt to create an example of how to transform a large abandoned infrastructure into an autonomous, self-sustaining facility that can produce its own energy as well as offer opportunities to host new activities.