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Houston-based Morris Architects took top honors and a $10,000 grand prize for the most radical innovation in hospitality. The international design competition was co-sponsored by the John Hardy Group and Hospitality Design magazine. Projects from around the world were submitted by hospitality brands, designers, and consulting professionals. The Oil Rig Resort, Spa, and Aquatic Adventure remodels one of the Gulf Coast’s 4,000 oil rigs into an exclusive resort, creating an eco-luxe oceanic experience. According to Morris Architects Director of Design Douglas Oliver, “In a twist on the symbol of oil dependence, the rig is transformed from obsolete industrial infrastructure into a vibrant component of the biosphere’s ecosystem and a destination for discerning travelers.” In addition to attracting the adventurer and luxury traveler, this destination resort will also draw conferences, business retreats, and can serve as a cruise ship’s main port of call en route to other locations in Mexico and the Caribbean. Miles from shore, the Rig Hotel will function autonomously through the use of alternative energy. Upon entering the “reef lobby,” guests enjoy spectacular views of the Gulf — including vantages through the lobby’s glass floor. Spaces are organized around a core of water that serves as ballast while also providing a deep-water venue for evening shows similar to Cirque du Soleil’s Las Vegas ‘O’.

Rig Resort close up

Flexible Rig Resort units.

Interior of the Rig Resort units.

Reef Lobby of the Rig Resort features spectacular views. courtesy of bustler
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