It is one of the most important bodies of water in the world, the only one to link the Persian Gulf with the open ocean, and it is frequently at risk of closure due to politics. Here’s your chance to design a new bridge for the Strait of Hormuz.
“At its narrowest, the Strait of Hormuz is only 39 kilometers or 21 nautical miles wide. At its widest, a world apart,” writes the Gulf Architecture Biennial organizers in an international design competition brief.
One fifth of all oil shipments pass through the Strait, which is bordered by Iran in the North and the United Arab Emirates and Musandam in the South.
In 2011, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the Strait saw an average of 14 tankers per day carrying 17 million barrels (2,700,000 m3) of crude oil, which is part of the reason that it is such a strategic political tool for Iran.
“On 29 June 2008, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, Mohammad Ali Jafari, said that if Iran were attacked by Israel or the United States, it would seal off the Strait of Hormuz, to wreak havoc in oil markets,” according to an entry in Wikipedia.
As a thinking experiment, the Gulf Architecture Biennial invites designers from around the world to envision a way to bridge the two sides of the Gulf. Proposals don’t have to interpret the bridge concept literally; rather, they are seeking ideas that are “new, new, new.”
“Speculation and design fiction are welcome. Entries should keep in mind the traces of a post-petroleum future.”
Head over to Gulf Architecture Biennial’s website for the details; proposals are due by 12 January, 2014 and the winner receives $750.