“Ghost Fleet” is an informal term for the National Defense Reserve Fleet of the USA which consists of functional warships decommissioned after WWII. The majority were sold or dismantled before the 1980s. The rest remained for the reason that new environmental regulations and higher minimum wage make the dismantling and recycling financially unviable. In 2007, the water pollution caused by the surface chemicals of the ships in Suisun Bay, San Francisco brought the ghost fleet back to public attention. In response, the government determined to finish dismantling the ghost fleet by 2017.
Rather than a domestic issue of the USA, "ghost fleet" is a global phenomenon. Each year, thousands of decommissioned ships are sold at the price of scrap metal to scrapping yards in Asia. China, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, as the dominating figures in the ship scrapping industry, host 77% in number and 98% in deadweight tonnage of ship scrapping activities in 2011.
Especially for the mentioned South Asian countries, the high demand for steel, small domestic supply, abundant cheap workforce, and lenient environmental regulations make the labor-intensive and contaminating ship-scrapping a viable business in these regions. It’s almost like a ritual for the scattered members of the ghost fleet to make their last sails across half of the globe so they could assemble at these ship-scrapping yards to embrace their death.
Comparing the floor areas, the steel used, and construction costs or purchasing prizes of most gigantic ships to some of the prominent buildings makes it obvious that these decommissioned marine structures possess great architectural potential.
The Singapore Nautical Chart is colored to indicate the past history and the future ambition of Singapore land reclamation. By the year 2013, 17% of 725.7 km2 is the direct result of land reclamation. The percentage has been foreseen to be doubled by the year 2030 according to the Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority.
The radical alteration to the natural coast has caused the loss of 65% of coral coverage and 96% of coastal mangroves. Even if the environmental catastrophe is the minor concern of the political leaders, the desperate craving for land will soon be confronted by its natural limitations. The water depth of 15m，as the threshold for economical land reclamation will soon be reached. The land reclamation expands the boundary of territorial water, causing controversial encroachment into that of the adjacent countries. Indonesia has protested by banning sand export to Singapore. And Malaysia has always been holding water export which contributes to 50% of Singapore’s consumption as a bargaining tool.
Land reclamation is therefore environmentally, economically, and politically unsustainable.
As a concept demonstration of "superuse", this project transforms decommissioned ships into a hub for Singapore's creative industry where start-ups enjoy low rent for workspace and residences.