SEE MONSTER is a retired rig from the North Sea, transformed to inspire global conversations about reuse, renewables and the great British weather.

Working closely with North Somerset Council, SEE MONSTER came to life as part of UNBOXED: a celebration of creativity, taking place across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and online from March to October 2022.

After a lifetime weathering the stormy seas, the retired rig was reborn at shore in the former 1930s lido, the Tropicana. The reawakened entity developed into a joyous celebration of the great British weather and British eccentricity, presenting a new vision for what the monster could become. As a pioneer towards a greener future, SEE MONSTER explored the concept of inherited structures, be those physical, social, or environmental. What do we do with the structures we inherit? And what actions can they inspire?

— Client

UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK

— Location


Created with Sketch.
Created with Sketch.

SEE MONSTER towered at 35 metres tall, over four distinct levels. It featured: a kinetic installation made up of 6,000 individual tiles, forming the monster’s shimmering scales; a wild garden of grasses, plants and trees grown to thrive in a seaside micro-climate; a 10-metre-high waterfall; a curly slide; kinetic wind sculptures; artist and scientist collaborations, creating renewable designs for sustainable energy generation; a seated amphitheatre with unrivalled views out to Sea from seaside telescopes; and, a broadcast studio at the base of the structure.

As the first decommissioned gas platform in the world to be transformed into a major public art installation, SEE MONSTER attracted a multi-generational audience of half a million to the Tropicana in Weston-super-Mare. Visitors could witness the arrival and transformation of the structure; enjoy a full events programme – with guests including The Naked Scientists podcast, Jimmy McLoughlin OBE podcast, BBC Introducing, BBC Bristol and local radio station Wave – along with a spectacular drone show and educational activities presented in partnership with the Natural History Museum; and go aboard and explore the structure.