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Luis Callejas Felipe Correa Farès el-Dahdah Brian Davis Rania Ghosn Alex Gregor Carola Hein Joshua Herzstein Garth Lenz Libo Li Bárbara Loureiro Joanna Luo Clare Lyster Geoff Manaugh Alida C. Metcalf Peter Mettler Juliana Moura Koen Olthuis Bomin Park Albert Pope Maya Przybylski Rafico Ruiz Weijia Song Peter Stone Alex Webb Mason White Sarah Whiting Laura Williams Alex Yuen

Edited By

Neeraj Bhatia Mary Casper 9 780989 331784




L AZI BR Macae Rio De Janeiro

Roncador P-09 P-26 107 Albacora 107 P-52 Piranema SSV Victoria 97 Albacora Leste 102 Selian Vermelho P-52 180 111 Carapeba 102 P-38 Marlim Leste P-40 Parati P-32 P-48 96Reliance 112 Sul Floatel 83100 Marlim Cherne 200 NP Sedco 706 109 P-54 P-52 150 Sun Rise 2000 X 98 122 Petrobras Offshore Mischief Enchoya Marlim Sul Vitoria 10000 154 109Worker Ocean P-20 105 199 Badejo 76 132 Linguado Pampo Deep Ocean Clarion

P-35 P-19 92 P-43109 Ocean Winner 100 P-40 P-43 P-65 96 100P-51 95 89P-56 178 200 SS Pantanal 158

Sao Paulo Blackford Dolphin 95 Ocean Quest 99

Belmonte Mexilhao

Capixaba 96 Pride of the South AtLantic 109


Tubarao Tiro Caravela Pride of Mexico Caravela Sul 90 lone Star 94

West Orion 180

PJS-559Atlanta BS-4

PJS-539 PJS-551

Tropic of Capricorn

Noble Clyde Bourdreaux 200 Noble Dave Beard 200 Cajun Express 158

Carioca West Eminencetupi Bem-Te-Vi 128 Guara Ocean Valor

Sevan Driller 140



Stena Drillmax 180

Ocean Lexington 106 Ocean Ambassador Ocean Star 108 103 Sea Explorer GSF Arctic 1 112 110 Pride of Venezuela 200


Ocean Baroness 138

Panoramix Merluza

Tambau Urugua Pirapitanga carapia



Bijupira and Salema 164 168

Azulao Caramba West Polaris 180

sidon Deepwater

discovery 140 Falcon 100 114

Atlantic Star Ocean Yorktown 90 100 Dolphin Borgny Deepwater Navigator 104 128

Cavalo Marinho




LEGEND: PRE-SALT REGION Exploration Zone Confirmed Oil Deposit Pipeline Dominant Currents Platform Semi-Submursible Drill Rig Semi-Submursible Accommodation Single Hull Drill Ship Floating Production Storage and Offloading Floating Storage and Offloading (tanker) 0km






200km Economical Heli-transport Range

THE PETROPOLIS OF TOMORROW Edited by: Neeraj Bhatia & Mary Casper Copyediting: Neeraj Bhatia & Mary Casper with Carly Dean (L.O.G Chapter) Graphic Design: Neeraj Bhatia & Mary Casper Typeface: Adobe Caslon Pro, Univers Production: Núria Saban Paper: On Offset Printing: Printed and bound in the European Union Publisher: Actar Publishers & Architecture at Rice Distributed by: Actar D 151 Grand Street, 5th Floor New York, NY 10013 USA Phone + 1 212 966 2207 Š 2013 Actar Publishers, Rice School of Architecture, and authors of projects Original Artwork produced by authors and co-editors. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means without permission in writing from the publisher. For more information about The Rice School of Architecture please visit our homepage at For more information about The Petropolis of Tomorrow, please visit ISBN: 978-0-989331-7-84 Cover illustration and frontispiece: Mary Casper





Under the surface of the now manifold discussions of oil states and their influence across the globe, the oil and hydrocarbon industry have played a transformative role in reshaping remote landscapes. From rural Texas to central Abu Dhabi, petrodollars have morphed sand into monuments of energy—casting extraneous geometries upon oil’s brittle geographies.


The case of South America is no exception, where the enterprise of oil and the reincarnation of its affiliated infrastructures has had a pivotal role in delivering a differing model of the post-oil city. Beyond the progressive expansions of traditional towns in 1920s Argentina such as Comodoro Rivadavia or the construction of postwar modernist garden cities in Venezuela, the most significant effect the oil industry has had on South America’s urbanisation has been through the appropriation and adaptation of its original extraction strips and their gradual transformation into new urban outposts. Similar to the Law of Indies and its tightly scripted process for colonizing more than 900 cities and towns across the American continent, the infrastructural geometries required for oil extraction have become a skeleton for urbanisation throughout the Venezuelan coast, the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazon, and most recently, the Brazilian Amazon and its Atlantic coast.1 Both inland and along the ocean, the metrics of the oil camp have influenced a template for urbanisation that will outlast oil, derived from the oil extraction process itself.2 The Petropolis of Tomorrow, an applied research and design project under the direction of Neeraj Bhatia, presents a critical perspective on this new urban frontier. Envisioning the oil platform as a new geography of urbanism, the work examines how the process of petroleum and natural gas extraction can serve as a backbone for more comprehensive urbanism at sea. The proposals documented herein go beyond the basic settlement requirements imposed by this form of resource extraction in order to propose a new form of urbanity where the city is conceived as a pluralistic social project paired with resource extraction, rather than simply a result of oil extraction enterprises. While the site of this investigation—the oil fields along the Brazilian coast—tests an extreme scenario with a renewed interest in infrastructure, the work offers lessons to the broader South American context. As oil extraction continues to carve large tracts of land along Ecuador, Peru and Brazil, oil corporations and the national governments that empower them must address the impact of such heavy extraction infrastructure on the population that harvests it. Such undertakings necessarily bring new actors to the present and the future of oil geographies. The work collected in this volume offers compelling insight into how this might occur, positing new hybrids between industry and urbanism for an alternative twenty-first century extraction town. This publication makes a unique and significant contribution to the South America Project (SAP), a transcontinental applied research network that endorses the role of design within the rapidly transforming geographies of the South American continent. As one of over thirty applied research projects currently working with SAP, The Petropolis of Tomorrow comprises an important part of the larger research agenda. Its focus on design synthesis and the role it can play in mapping out new physical and experiential qualities offers critical lessons to the dialogue of transformation in the South American hinterland. In the case of hinterwater, The Petropolis of Tomorrow also makes a compelling case for speculative research in the South American context and provides a comparative foundation for the other investigations of SAP project in years to come. ◘ Felipe Correa Associate Professor, Harvard University Graduate School of Design Co-Director, The South America Project

1 Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Urbanismo, La Ciudad Hispanoamericana: El Sueño de un Orden (Madrid: Centro de Estudios Históricos de Obras Públicas y Urbanismo, 1989). 2 For an expanded text on the role of oil in shaping the South American Hinterland please see: Felipe Correa, “Afterlife Strategies: The Other Post-Oil City”, Volume 29 (November, 2011).


INTRODUCTION 12 Floating Frontiers Neeraj Bhatia 20 Distant Frontier Farès el-Dahdah & Alida C. Metcalf OBSERVATIONS


32 The True Cost of Oil Garth Lenz 64 ARCHIPELAGO URBANISM

68 The Chagos Archipelago Rafico Ruiz 80 Archipelago, From Metaphor to Geography Mason White 92 The Island Organism: Hilberseimer in Rockford Albert Pope 106 On Land, At Sea: Formalizing Public Edges in the Archipelago Mary Casper 120 Islandness Luis Callejas PROJECTS

APPENDIX AND CREDITS 512 L.O.G: Living Offshore Guide 556 Afterword Sarah Whiting

128 Cidade Do Arquipélago Alex Gregor Joshua Herzstein Libo Li Laura Williams

192 Oil Rocks Alex Webb

352 Petropolis Peter Mettler



388 Index of Landscape Typology: Easements Brian Davis

228 The Expansion of the Extractive Territory Rania Ghosn 238 Rigged Ecologies Geoff Manaugh

406 On-Demand Urbanism Clare Lyster 424 City Apps Koen Olthuis

248 Pesqueiro Juliana Moura & Bรกrbara Loureiro 258 Re-Rigging: Transborder Logics Across the Bounded Site Maya Przybylski

436 Between Water and Oil: The Logistical Petroleumscape Carola Hein

272 Harvesting Urbanism Through Territorial Logistics Neeraj Bhatia 288 Cidade De Deriva Joanna Luo Weijia Song Alex Yuen

448 Cidade Recorrente Bomin Park Peter Stone

Introduction TITLE

FLOATING Author Name FRONTIERS Neeraj Bhatia

“Is the set well designed? Indeed, it is not designed at all! It is true that in individual fragments of the set here and there—in individual buildings—we see the conscious hand of the architect. But in speaking, as we are, of the city as a whole… it is not a work of conscious design…. May there not yet arise, perhaps in another generation, architects who, appreciating the influence unconsciously received, will learn consciously to direct it?” – Hugh Ferris, The Metropolis of Tomorrow

Brazil, a nation that relies on ethanol for forty percent of its fuel supply, has in recent years also become one of the largest oil producers in the world. The latest oil discoveries in the Campos and Santos Basin, off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, are destined to put Brazil in the coveted top ten of oil producing nations globally.


The Tupi and Jupiter oil fields (discovered in 2007 and 2008) have recently been surpassed by the Libra oil field, which is estimated to hold as much as fifteen billion barrels of oil. Approximately 114 miles off the coast of Rio, Libra and newer discoveries tend to be located further into the sea. However, not only is this oil becoming difficult to access from the coast, it is also deep below the water’s surface, underneath the presalt fields. Despite these obstacles, in September of 2010, the Brazilian oil company Petrobras raised over seventy billion dollars in the world’s largest public share offering to extract this petroleum, unleashing a new frontier comprised of Petropolises, or cities formed around the logistics of resource extraction.1 The newest findings in the distant Santos Basin are challenging the traditional notions of the land-based urbanism associated with oil production. Existing beyond the feasible range of helicopter transport, these offshore fields have presented a logistical crisis in the development of several offshore settlements. These “floating frontier towns” are hundreds of kilometres offshore, floating approximately a mile above the sea floor.2 New artificial island hubs are now being investigated to bridge these distances and to allow for efficient movement of people, as well as storage of materials.3 The consolidation of distributed populations into a series of nodes, effectively forming a larger core population, is of particular interest in this paradigm shift in the logistics of the offshore extraction industry. As such, these proposed hub islands may include a more diverse and larger quantity of locally controlled programmes that sit outside the global logistics of petroleum. Accordingly, the networks and nodes associated with impending petropolises have the potential to critically project new forms of water-based urbanism. Currently, eightysix fixed and forty-six floating rigs serve as workplace for over forty-five thousand people in Brazilian waters.4 While these rapid developments are forming a new frontier of exploration and urbanism in the Atlantic Ocean, this frontier is largely composed of autonomous fragments that are often overlooked by designers in a holistic manner. As the number of floating developments increase in the upcoming years, it is worthwhile to speculate on the impact that this frontier will have on Brazil, beyond economic prosperity. In Frederick Jackson Turner’s seminal work, The Significance of the Frontier in American History, he defines the frontier as “the outer edge of the wave—the meeting point between savagery and civilisation.”5 From the viewpoint of a historian and economist, Turner’s Frontier Thesis proposes that the frontier provided a particular set of qualities that were the instigators to American democracy. While it may be difficult to prove that democracy was the result of these characteristics, it is useful to examine the particular attributes Turner ascribed the line of the frontier. For Turner, the frontier was free from the British cultural and institutional dogmas that influenced the Eastern United States, and therefore provided a sense of independence. Those pushing westward had free land at their disposal and developed skills to control and profit from the “wild”


natural environment, promoting physical strength, economic selfsufficiency, and social individualism. The frontier embodied the tension between “civilised” settlements and the “wilderness” beyond, and it was precisely the wild that Turner viewed as beneficial, as he states: For a moment, at the frontier, the bonds of custom are broken and unrestraint is triumphant. There is not tabula rasa. The stubborn American environment is there with its imperious summons to accept its conditions; the inherited ways of doing things are also there; and yet, in spite of environment, and in spite of custom, each frontier did indeed furnish a new field of opportunity.6 The frontier became such a force of individual enterprise as it expanded, that the legislation of the National Government became conditioned on the frontier itself.7 A distinct and complex coupling was transpiring on the frontier as individuals here needed to reconcile the local context —both environmental and cultural—with collective national policy and economic trade. In the context of Brazil, the outward push into the Atlantic embodies several characteristics outlined by Turner at the American frontier. As Rania Ghosn points out in her article, “The Expansion of the Extractive Territory,” the presalt fields have already prompted legislative changes in Brazil to form a complex geopolitical frontier comprised of several companies and countries. Further, the “wilderness”—in this case, the turbulent ocean, the great depth of sea bed and salt fields, and the

Frontier Individuals Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil congratulates workers of Keppel’s BrasFELS yard in Angra Dos Reis, Brazil during the christening of P-52 in 2007.


Afterword Sarah Whiting Thomas More’s Utopia1 was, as its full title reveals, “A truly golden little book, no less beneficial than entertaining, of a republic’s best state and of the new island, Utopia.” Islands lend themselves well to the concept of utopia: naturally bounded, they are petri dishes for idealism and the urban, architectural, and sociological innovation they inspire. But while utopia literally translates to “no place,” the islands designed by the students in Neeraj Bhatia’s Petropolis studio and seminar at Rice University are most definitely placed.


Floating off the coast of Rio, these new worlds fully engage the region’s local economy, climate, politics, and technology. Like More’s Utopia, these islands are not intended to remain no places. They are not fantasies but new possibilities that spring from a specific reality, with the intention of improving it. These Petropolises may not be envisioned for today, but for tomorrow or sometime soon. The Libra oil field off the coast of Rio purportedly holds as many as fifteen billion barrels of oil – the aqueous equivalent of a gold mine. Were the Petropolis projects envisioned for today, rather than tomorrow, they would be mere problem-solving exercises aimed at determining what technology most effectively extracts the greatest quantity of oil. Even when disguised as data-driven technological investigations, such a definition of “research” places architecture at the service of economy. Instead, these projects and collected articles invest in the possibilities of the future, afforded by the spatial and formal reconfiguration of work/home, labour/ culture, one/many. The philosophical, social, economic, political, and technological relationships that these urban architectures generate betrays their idealism and their promise: a future in which many Petropolises will vie with Petrópolis – the mountain resort about an hour or so outside of Rio that served as summer residence of Brazilian emperors and aristocracy in the 19th Century – as places to live, and live to the fullest, not just places to work while only dreaming of life. ◘

1 Thomas More, Utopia (Edinburgh: A. Constable Publishers, 1906).




Director: Neeraj Bhatia, InfraNet Lab/ The Open Workshop Studio Critic: Fares El-Dahdah, Rice University Institutional Framework: Rice University — Primary Investigator, Spring 2012 Cornell University — Primary Investigator, Fall 2012 California College of the Arts & URBANlab — Primary Investigator, Spring 2014 Harvard University ­— SAP Organizer PUC-RIO — Local Support Book Editors Neeraj Bhatia Mary Casper Researchers/ Designers: Julia Gamolina, Alexander Gregor, Joshua Herzstein, Zuhal Kol, Libo Li, Joanna Luo, Bo Min Park, Weijia Song, Peter Stone, Laura Williams, Alexander Yuen SAP Team: Ana Maria Duran Calisto, Harvard GSD Felipe Correa, Harvard GSD Gabriel Duarte, CAMPO aud Victor M. Sanz, Harvard GSD Project Framework SAP Network InfraNet Lab The Open Workshop Sponsors AECOM Rice University Shell Center for Sustainability Deepwater Technology Group Pte Ltd.; Keppel Offshore & Marine Additional Support Kinder Institute for Urban Research Website Fei-Ling Tseng


EDITORS Neeraj Bhatia is an architect and urban designer from Toronto, Canada. His work resides at the intersection of politics, infrastructure, and urbanism. He received his Master’s degree in Architecture and Urban Design from MIT where he was studying on a Fulbright Fellowship. Prior to that, he attended the University of Waterloo where he obtained a Bachelor of Environmental Studies and a Bachelor of Architecture. He has practiced with Eisenman Architects, Coop Himmelblau, Bruce Mau Design, OMA, ORG, and Lateral Office. Neeraj has previously taught at the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo, Ohio State University, Cornell University, Rice University, and is presently an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the California College of the Arts, where he is also co-coordinator of the URBANlab. Neeraj is a co-director of InfraNet Lab, a non-profit research collective probing the spatial byproducts of contemporary resource logistics, and founder of The Open Workshop, a design office examining the project of plurality. He is co-author of Pamphlet Architecture 30 (Princeton Architectural Press, 2010), co-editor of Arium: Weather + Architecture (with Jürgen Mayer H., Hatje Cantz Publishing, 2009), and co-editor of Bracket [Goes Soft] (with Lola Sheppard, Actar Publishing, 2012). Mary Casper is a Master of Architecture candidate at Rice University. She earned her Bachelor of Arts with Departmental Honors from Vassar College in 2006, where she majored in Sociology and Russian Studies. Her senior thesis, an ethnography of domestic labour, documented the community of quilters in Gee’s Bend, Alabama. Mary’s architectural interests focus on the research and design of social space and the evolving public realm. Mary previously contributed research and design to the exhibition “Next North” with Infranet Lab/Lateral Office and assisted in the publication of the Design for Reuse Primer with Public Architecture. She served as co-editor-in-chief for PLAT Journal, overseeing the publication of its 2.5 and 3.0 issues. She has collaborated with Situ Studio, Interloop—Architecture, WW Architects, and JohnstonMarklee. Mary has been awarded the Dorothy K. Evans and the Louise Hart Van Loon Fellowships for Graduate Study, the Morris R. Pittman Traveling Fellowship, and the Gene Hackerman Prize.

CONTRIBUTORS Luis Callejas is an architect, former founding partner of Paisajes Emergentes, and now director of LCLA OFFICE. His practice stands in the intersection between the fields of landscape, architecture, and urbanism, oriented toward new forms of public realms through environmental and territorial operations. Felipe Correa is an Associate Professor in the Department of Urban Planning and Design at Harvard GSD and the cofounder of Somatic Collaborative. He is also cofounder of The South America Project, a network of affiliated researchers who examine issues of fast-paced urbanisation within the South American continent. His work and writings have been published extensively in journals including Architectural Design, Architectural Record, Harvard Design Magazine, and Volume. Brian Davis has lived and practiced in Argentina, New York City, and North Carolina. His research examines industrial landscapes and infrastructure projects in Appalachia and Latin America, drawing from the field of Hemispheric Studies to situate these places in the context of the larger American landscape. His work draws from American pragmatism and object-oriented philosophy in an attempt to understand the relationship between landscapes and instruments, and he runs a project website by the same name. He is a founding member of the Ex Ex research collaborative which studies ports and industrial canals as landscape typologies, and writes the blog Landscape Archipelago. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the Landscape Architecture Department at Cornell University.


Farès el-Dahdah, Professor of Architecture and Director of the Humanities Research Center at Rice University, studied at the Rhode Island School of Design (BFA, ‘86/BArch ‘87) and at Harvard GSD (MAUD ‘89/DDes ‘92). He recently co-edited Roberto Burle Marx: The Modernity of Landscape (2011) and participated in Reason and Environment (2011). His current research focuses on Lucio Costa’s 1957 Brasilia Pilot Plan project and, with Alida C. Metcalf, the social and architectural history of Rio de Janeiro. Rania Ghosn is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Michigan. Prior to joining UM Taubman College, Rania has held teaching and research positions at Harvard GSD, MIT, and Boston University. She received a Bachelor of Architecture from American University of Beirut, a Master in Geography from University College London, and a Doctor of Design from Harvard GSD. Ghosn’s research explores architecture’s geographic project particularly as it relates to territorial systems. Her essays have been published in Thresholds, Bracket, and Perspecta. She is founding editor of the journal New Geographies and editor-in-chief of the issue Landscapes of Energy (2010). Carola Hein is a professor at Bryn Mawr College in the Growth and Structure of Cities Department. Her current research interests include transmission of architectural and urban ideas along international networks, focusing specifically on port cities and the global architecture of oil. With an Alexander von Humboldt fellowship she investigated large-scale urban transformation in Hamburg in the international context between 1842 and 2008. Garth Lenz is a photographer whose work has appeared in major publications including, Time, GEO, The Guardian, Esquire, The New York Times, and The Christian Science Monitor, among others. He has received major awards from the Prix de Photographie Paris, the International Photography Awards, and Social Documentary Net. His work has been exhibited at the Power House Arena and Aperture Foundation in New York, at the G2 Gallery and Annenburg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, at the Banff Mountain Film Festival, and the Capital Building in Washington DC. He is one of sixty photographers to be named a “Fellow” of the International League of Conservation Photographers. Bárbara Loureiro is a Geographer from the Federal Fluminense University. She has developed a technical career in environmental permitting and corporate social responsibility within the oil and gas sector, focusing on the impacts of the energy industry on aquaculture. Clare Lyster is an architect, writer, educator, and founding principal of CLUAA, a research and design firm in Chicago whose work explores the design of space at the intersection of architecture, landscape, and infrastructure. She is Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Geoff Manaugh is the author of BLDGBLOG, former senior editor of Dwell magazine, and a contributing editor at Wired UK. In addition to regular freelance work for such publications as Volume, Popular Science, The New York Times, and Icon, he also co-directs Studio-X NYC, an off-campus event space and urban futures think tank run by the architecture department at Columbia University. Alida C. Metcalf, Harris Masterson, Jr. Professor of History at Rice University, received a B.A. from Smith College (1976) and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin (1983). She is the author of Family and Frontier in Colonial Brazil (1992; 2005), Go-betweens and the Colonization of Brazil (2005) and, with Eve M. Duffy, The Return of Hans Staden: A Go-between in the Atlantic World (2012). Her current research focuses on cartographers of the sixteenth-century Atlantic world and, with Farès el-Dahdah, the social and architectural history of Rio de Janeiro.


Peter Mettler is known for a diversity of work in image and sound mediums—foremost for his films such as Picture of Light, Gambling, Gods and LSD, and Petropolis but also as a photographer and groundbreaking live audio and visual mixing performer. His work bridges the gap between experimental, narrative, personal essay, and documentary. He has collaborated with an extensive range of international artists and has been honoured with awards and retrospectives worldwide. Juliana Moura Costa Pollastri is an Environmental Engineer who graduated from the Pontifical Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro. With more than ten years of experience in the environmental consultancy for offshore activities, she has coordinated several offshore environmental impact assessment studies and implemented diverse mitigating strategies for the energy industry in Brazil. Koen Olthuis studied Architecture and Industrial Design at Delft University of Technology. He is founder of the Dutch architectural firm, Waterstudio.NL, which specialises in floating structures. In 2007, he was chosen to be on TIME Magazine’s list of the most influential people in the world due to a worldwide interest in water developments. According to his vision outlined in the book, Float!, today’s designers are essential to the development of a new, sustainable way of dealing with water by considering a dynamic approach to city planning. Albert Pope is the Gus Sessions Wortham Professor of Architecture at Rice University. Albert holds degrees from SCI-Arc and Princeton University, and previously taught at Yale University and SCI-Arc. He is the author of Ladders (Princeton Architectural Press, 1997) and numerous articles concerning the broad implications of postwar urban development. Maya Przybylski is a Toronto-based designer and educator. She is Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Waterloo. Maya is a graduate of the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto. She previously earned a degree with a specialisation in Software Engineering at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. In 2008, Maya became a director of InfraNet Lab, a non-profit research collective probing the spatial by-products of contemporary resource logistics. The Lab’s research into urban infrastructures is published in Pamphlet Architecture 30. Maya is also co-editor of On Farming [Bracket 1] and At Extremes, [Bracket 3] (Actar). Rafico Ruiz is pursuing an ad personam Ph.D. in Communication Studies and the History and Theory of Architecture at McGill University. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Cultural Studies from McGill University, and a Master’s degree in French Cultural Studies from Columbia University. His dissertation examines the Grenfell Mission of Newfoundland and Labrador as a project of social reform, with a particular focus on the historical and cultural relations between space, time, and technologies that help us to situate and site contemporary problems of mediation. His research interests range across historical and theoretical questions pertaining to materiality, mediation, communication, and social action. He is the co-editor and co-founder of SEACHANGE, a journal of art, communication, and technology. Alex Webb is a photographer who majored in history and literature at Harvard University, while simultaneously studying photography at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. Webb has received numerous awards, including a New York Foundation of the Arts Grant (1986), National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (1990), Hasselblad Foundation Grant (1998), Guggenheim Fellowship (2007), the Leopold Godowsky Color Photography Award (1988), the Leica Medal of Excellence (2000), and the David Octavius Hill Award (2002).


Mason White is Assistant Professor at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at University of Toronto. He is a partner in Lateral Office and a director at InfraNet Lab. Sarah Whiting is Dean and William Ward Watkin Professor at Rice University’s School of Architecture. She is an architectural critic and historian; editor of the Princeton University Press series POINT, and a partner of WW, an architectural practice located in Houston, Texas.

RESEARCHERS/ DESIGNERS Alex Gregor is a candidate for the Bachelor of Architecture degree at Rice University. He is currently working with Bohlin Cwynski Jackson in San Francisco. In 2011 he worked with Sou Fujimoto and in 2010 he worked at Tange Associates, both in Tokyo, Japan. Joshua Herzstein is a candidate for the Bachelor of Architecture degree at Rice University. He is currently employed at Machado Silvetti Architects in Boston, Massachusetts. Prior to joining Machado Silvetti, Joshua worked as an intern for Arquitectura 911sc. in Mexico City, Mexico. Libo Li is a candidate for the Bachelor of Architecture degree at Rice University and is currently working at KPF in London. Libo is interested in the implications of looking at the world with an architecturally-framed mind, condensing complex ideas to bite-sized concepts and drawing connections across different scales and knowledge bases. Joanna Luo is a candidate for the Bachelor of Architecture degree at Rice University and currently working at Thomas Phifer and Partners in New York. Bomin Park is a candidate for the Bachelor of Architecture degree at Rice University and has worked at Rogers Marvel Architects and Atelier Bow-Wow. Weijia Song, originally from Auckland, New Zealand, is a candidate for the Bachelor of Architecture degree at Rice University. She is currently working at SHoP Architects in New York. Peter Stone is a candidate for the Bachelor of Architecture degree at Rice University and presently working at Weiss Manfredi Architects. He is interested in developing large-scale systems that have social impacts beyond infrastructural efficiency, as well as new techniques for representing these spaces. Laura Williams is a candidate for the Bachelor of Architecture degree at Rice University. Laura is currently working at Office NADAAA in Boston. Alex Yuen is a candidate for the Bachelor of Architecture degree at Rice University and is interested in conditions of limits and borders at all scales. He is currently working at Diller Scofidio + Renfro.



IMAGE CREDITS Listed by Page Number —Introduction 1 Neeraj Bhatia 2-5, 10-11 Mary Casper 15 KeppelFELS 16 Creative Commons; Edited by Neeraj Bhatia 23, 25, 26, 28, 29 Eduardo Canabrava Barreiros, Atlas da evolução urbana da cidade do Rio de Janeiro:1565-1965 (Rio de Janeiro : Instituto Histórico e Geográfico Brasileiro, 1965) —Photo Essay 34-62

Garth Lenz

—Archipelago Urbanism 64-65, 72-73 Mary Casper 74 Drew Avery; Creative Commons via Flickr ( photos/33590535@N06/4165898282/sizes/o/in/photostream/) 82-83 Mason White 85 European Space Agency, EarthNet 87 Mason White 89 Ford Foundation 91 Saphora Khoylou 96, 100, 103 Albert Pope 110-111, 115 Mary Casper 123-127 Luis Callejas 130-131 Mary Casper 132-139 Alex Gregor, Joshua Herzstein, Libo Li, Laura Williams 140-141 Mary Casper 142-143 Alex Gregor, Joshua Herzstein, Libo Li, Laura Williams 144-153 Joshua Herzstein 154-155 Mary Casper 156-157 Alex Gregor, Joshua Herzstein, Libo Li, Laura Williams 158-165 Alex Gregor 166-167 Mary Casper, Laura Williams 168-169 Alex Gregor, Joshua Herzstein, Libo Li, Laura Williams 170-177 Laura Williams 178-179 Mary Casper 180-181 Alex Gregor, Joshua Herzstein, Libo Li, Laura Williams 182-189 Libo Li 190-191 Alex Gregor, Joshua Herzstein, Libo Li, Laura Williams —Photo Essay 194-222

Alex Webb and Magnum Photos

—Harvesting Urbanism 224-225 Mary Casper 230, 234-235 Petrobras 240 Marianne Muegenburg Cothern; Creative Commons via Flickr ( photostream/) 242 Ni Zhan


244-245 Mike Baird; Creative Commons via Flickr ( photos/mikebaird/3898808431/sizes/o/in/photostream/) 250-251, 253-255 AECOM 261-262, 264-269 Maya Przybylski 276, 279, 281, 282, 284 Carly Dean 290-291 Mary Casper 293-297 Joanna Luo, Weijia Song, Alex Yuen 298-299 Mary Casper 300-303 Joanna Luo, Weijia Song, Alex Yuen 304-327 Weijia Song 328-329 Mary Casper 330-331 Joanna Luo, Weijia Song, Alex Yuen 332-341 Joanna Luo 342-343 Mary Casper 344-351 Alex Yuen —Photo Essay 354-383 Peter Mettler, Greenpeace / Eamon Mac Mahon. No archiving. No resale. See Copyright policy for more information at: —Logistical Urbanism 384-385 Mary Casper 392-393 Erin Putalik 395 Photograph by David Hiser, 1937, courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency through Wikimedia Commons 398-399 Wikimedia Commons 401 Brian Davis 408 Alex Stitt 410-413 Clare Lyster; Edited by Mary Casper 418 Modern Mechanix 420 Wikipedia Commons 421 Doug Stetcheschulte 428-433 Architect Koen Olthuis ñ Waterstudio.NL; Developer Dutch Docklands - 434-435 Architect Koen Olthuis - Waterstudio.NL 440-441 Mary Casper 442-443 Photo Courtesy of HHLA ( 450-451 Mary Casper 453 Bomin Park, Peter Stone, Mary Casper 454-467 Bomin Park, Peter Stone 468-469 Mary Casper, Bomin Park 470-471 Bomin Park, Peter Stone 472-483 Bomin Park 484-485 Bomin Park, Peter Stone 486-487 Mary Casper, Peter Stone 488-489 Bomin Park, Peter Stone 490-497 Peter Stone 498-511 Bomin Park, Peter Stone


—Living Offshore Guide 514-519 Zuhal Kol, Julia Gamolina 520-525 Joshua Herzstein 526-530 Peter Stone 531-535 Alexander Gregor 536-542 Libo Li 543-547 Weijia Song 548-551 Bomin Park 552-553 Bomin Park, Weijia Song 570-575 Mary Casper 576 Neeraj Bhatia Every effort has been made to contact copyright holders of images published herein. The publisher would appreciate being informed of any omissions in order to make due acknowledgement in future editions of this book.



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We would like to extend our gratitude to: Grant Alford, Lilibeth Andre, Luis Callejas, Brian Clark, Scott Colman, Felipe Correa, Constanza Cortes, Brian Davis, Carly Dean, Kelly Doran, Fares El-Dahdah, Tanya Dominguez, Gabriel Duarte, Ana Maria Duran, Stephen Engblom, Reto Geiser, Eva Franch Gilabert, Martin Haettasch, Christopher Hight, Aziz Amirali Merchant, Lauren Neatherlin, Kim Ricker, Albert Pope, Ramon Prat, Victor M. Sanz, Neyran Turan, Mason White, Sarah Whiting, and the authors / designers in this volume. Additional Support Kinder Institute for Urban Research Institutions Rice University Harvard University Sponsors This work would not have been possible without the generous support of:













Luis Callejas Felipe Correa Farès el-Dahdah Brian Davis Rania Ghosn Alex Gregor Carola Hein Joshua Herzstein Garth Lenz Libo Li Bárbara Loureiro Joanna Luo Clare Lyster Geoff Manaugh Alida C. Metcalf Peter Mettler Juliana Moura Koen Olthuis Bomin Park Albert Pope Maya Przybylski Rafico Ruiz Weijia Song Peter Stone Alex Webb Mason White Sarah Whiting Laura Williams Alex Yuen

Edited By

Neeraj Bhatia Mary Casper 9 780989 331784

The Petropolis of Tomorrow  
The Petropolis of Tomorrow  

The Petropolis of Tomorrow is a design and research project, originally undertaken at Rice University that examines the relationship between...