SEE MONSTER transformed North Sea oil platform by NEWSUBSTANCE entered into the Blooloop Innovation Awards 2022


  • 1st place

  • 1st place

Project creator(s)

Entered into the following categories


  • First place, Blue Sky
  • First place, Inclusion

SEE MONSTER is a retired rig from the North Sea, transformed into one of the UK’s largest public art installations to inspire global conversations about reuse, renewables and the great British weather.

SEE MONSTER is a decommissioned North Sea offshore platform transformed into one of the UK’s largest public art installations, welcoming the public onboard from 24 September to 20 November 2022. This world-first transformation aims to inspire global conversations about reuse, renewables, and the great British weather.


At 35-metres tall, SEE MONSTER features four publicly accessible levels animated by a 10-metre-high waterfall; a multi-level slide offering an alternative route through the monster, a 6,000-piece kinetic installation forming the monster’s shimmering scales; kinetic wind sculptures; a wild garden of grasses, plants and trees selected to thrive in a seaside micro-climate; artist-designed experiments in sustainable energy generation; a seated amphitheatre, unrivalled views out to sea from the Helideck and, at its base, a broadcast studio hosting radio, music, podcasts and workshops, reaching national and international audiences.

The transformation of an industrial structure into an accessible public installation suitable for visitors is an unprecedented engineering and design achievement that has been led by Leeds-based creative studio NEWSUBSTANCE.

In July, the 450-tonne platform was transported by sea on a barge as large as a football pitch to the beach at Weston-super-Mare, known for having the second highest tidal range in the world. It was then lifted by crane over the seawall onto pre-constructed legs within the Tropicana – a former 1930’s lido. Since this time, the Viewing Deck positioned within the walls of the Tropicana, allowed visitors to witness the monster’s transformation.

The journey up SEE MONSTER takes guests around the outside perimeter of the enormous beast, where a cascade of silvery scales wraps around the monster, shimmering with the changing wind.

The Cloud Portal is a large, 10-metre sculptural installation that frequently comes to life throughout the hour, providing playful and engaging moments to celebrate the weather on the monster. Misty mighty forms will emerge from the Cloud Portal for guests to play within.

SEE MONSTER’s Garden Lab, features 9-metre-high trees, plants and grasses, selected to be resilient to salty breezes and Atlantic gales. SEE MONSTER’s roar, the waterfall, continually recirculates through the pools at its base; and the impact of the weather will be seen and heard as the wind moves through the installations and garden, intended to prompt discussion about the science behind the great British weather and how it can support a sustainable future.

The Solar Tree atop the Garden Lab takes the concept of the blossoming buds of spring to create a renewable energy source that presents a physical nod to the roughness of a tree’s bark. With continued cross-sector collaboration, the ambition is for these designs to be catalysed by SEE MONSTER and deployed on a global scale in the coming years.

WindNest, designed by artist Trevor Lee, brings together design and renewable energy and comprises two rotating airborne pods, generating clean energy through wind and solar technology that powers the irrigation system for the Garden Lab. WindNest is created in collaboration with Land Art Generator Initiative, an art and design-led renewable energy team that looks for innovative solutions to help achieve a net-zero carbon future.

Kinetic Sculptor, Ivan Black, has created two sculptures representing the sun and moon that are set in motion by the wind. Sections of the sculptures rotate on their symmetrical axes and are designed to be in constant chaotic but graceful motion. Made from aluminium, they are designed to withstand the elements particularly the corrosive salt in the sea air and to instil a sense of wonder as to how they work. Ivan describes them as much as works of engineering as art and said: “I hope they will inspire others to think creatively about engineering.”

Patrick O’Mahony, Creative Director and Founder of NEWSUBSTANCE said, “SEE MONSTER is an incredibly unique project, made possible through cross-sector collaboration and the ambitious nature of the UNBOXED commission. We are incredibly excited to be the first people in the world to reuse a structure in this way, with its potential to provide a blueprint for future global reuse projects. From the roar of the waterfall to the shimmering scales, we invite our audience to ascend the monster, running through clouds and exploring wild gardens until they reach the summit where they can see our monster’s home from a new perspective. We are thrilled that the public can now board SEE MONSTER, after witnessing its transformation over the past few months. We hope this once-in-a-lifetime experience, that started as an experiment in education and creativity in Weston-super-Mare, will go on to have a much greater and long-lasting legacy.”

SEE MONSTER is part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK. A once-in-a-lifetime celebration of creativity, taking place across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and online from March to November 2022.

More information can be found here.


Niccy Hallifax, Project Director
Antonia Gammans, Head of Marketing & Partnerships
Emma-Jane Taylor & Benjamin Webster, Founders of REDHOUSE
Nii Lartey & Ahmed Faid, Founders of Dose of Society
Dr. Amélie Kirchgaessner, Scientist at British Antarctic Survey
Dr. Ella Gilbert, Scientist at British Antarctic Survey
Natasha Sayce-Zelem, Founder of Empowering Women with Tech
Vinita Marwaha Madill, Founder of Rocket Women
Ivan Black, Kinetic Sculptor
Dr. Amit Patel, Accessibility Consultant

Your web browser is out of date. Update your browser for more security, speed and the best experience on this site.

Find out how to update