Numerous prolific architects design more than structures
Residents began the year by shifting to Olympia Brooklyn, Brooklyn’s newest and most expensive condo complex. Hill West Architects created the 33-story structure in DUMBO, which is the newest addition to the borough’s ever-changing skyline. Olympia, in contrast to other adjacent skyscrapers, is fashioned like an unfurled sail and appears prepared to rip through the nearby East River at any moment.a
The construction demonstrates that architects, particularly modern ones, enjoy nautical themes. Ocean liners inspired Le Corbusier, who wrote about them in his 1923 book, Towards a New Architecture; Frank Gehry used sails as inspiration when designing the Guggenheim Bilbao; Santiago Calatrava’s Milwaukee Art Museum is shaped like a boat ready to coast into Lake Michigan; and Frank Lloyd Wright, who only designed one coastal home, took advantage of the opportunity to design a home shaped like a ship’s bow.
It is hardly unexpected that many architects have given their attention in recent years to yacht and ship design. How do their creative talents translate from skyscrapers and urban settings to nautical and maritime environments? To answer this question, AD investigates seven superyachts designed by architects.
Unique Circle Yachts, Zaha Hadid
Being able to leave her stamp on almost everything she touched was maybe one of Zaha Hadid’s greatest assets. Nothing better exemplifies this than the five superyachts the architect built in 2013. The design is traditional Hadid, but in a nautical manner, with strong, white outlines and organic lines. When the yachts made their public appearances, Hadid said in a press release that “each yacht is an engineered platform that combines specific hydrodynamic and structural requirements with the highest levels of comfort, spatial quality, and safety.” The German shipbuilding and engineering firm Blohm+Voss gave the architect technical knowledge specialized to boating.
YachtPlus Fleet, Norman Foster
Although yachts appear to be a new obsession for architects, Norman Foster has been designing them for decades. He began working on naval projects in 1993, but he has lately finished three superyachts for The YachtPlus Fleet: Ocean Emerald, Ocean Pearl, and Ocean Sapphire. Eight purchasers share ownership of the boats and are allowed a total of 30 days onboard each year, similar to a timeshare. Each vessel is made of aluminum alloy and features roomy cabins for maximum comfort.
Kirribilli, Renzo Piano
The 60-foot monohull Kirribilli was created by Renzo Piano and Emanuela Baglietto, an architect who works with his studio, in conjunction with Vismara Yacht Design. The 2001-launched sailing vessel’s purposeful simplification and austerity pay homage to racing boats from the 1930s. The ship’s upper surfaces, which were once emerald green but are now white, are complemented by the flush deck.
Foggy, Frank Gehry
The name Foggy was formed from the initials of its creator, F.O.G., which stood for Frank Owen Gehry. Despite the fact that it may appear self-indulgent, it makes sense when one realizes that the client was Geehry himself. According to Dezeen, Gehry is an ardent sailor who frequently draws inspiration from sails while constructing projects, such as the Foundation Louis Vuitton and the Guggenheim Bilbao. The sloop was designed in partnership with naval architect Germán Frers and is made of larch wood with a glass lattice deck. In 2015, the architect told Town & Country that his longtime desire of constructing a yacht had finally come true. “I had never had the resources before, and once I did, I was too busy doing my buildings,” he explained.
Flagship, Zaha Hadid
It was often thought that throughout her career, Hadid only ever created the Unique Circle Yachts. But it was revealed in the first few days of January this year that the architect had also worked with Vitruvius Yachts to create a brand-new ship for the British Royal Family. Even though the project, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson had originally proposed, has been scrapped, it’s intriguing to wonder what might have been. According to the website for Vitruvius, “all design contributors were eager to capture the essence of UK heritage and to embrace a forward-thinking and innovative approach to the design of the flagship with sustainability at its core.”
B60 Sailing Yacht, John Pawson
The B60 Sloop, a gleaming white yacht created by John Pawson, is a perfect example of his minimalist approach to design. The boat was designed in partnership with Luca Brenta, a yacht designer headquartered in Milan, and features a 60-foot carbon fiber hull and two striking white sails. “The project’s functional goal is to create the ultimate day-racing yacht, built for recreational rather than competitive purposes, but with the highest levels of maneuverability,” Pawson said in 2008.
Oneiric Catamaran, Architects Zaha Hadid
Recently, concept drawings for Oneiric, a potential catamaran created in cooperation with the Italian shipyard Rossinavi, were released by Zaha Hadid Architects. The most recent offering from Hadid’s design company is shown by these renderings. The yacht is powered by environmentally friendly technology and has three layers of solar panels as well as an AI-driven control center that manages energy usage. The business said in a press statement that there was “serenity on board that is both visual and audible.” “The full-electric mode of Oneiric can operate silently.”