Adam Voorhees unveils the Riparian Project

Historically, the static form language and program of a yacht has been at odds within the always dynamic context of its environment, a stagnant set of ideals bound up by history and tradition. Every yacht has been classified and segregated into specific and discrete categories based on its limitations. What if these limitations are removed and a yacht is created to perform optimally in all conditions in any location?

The Riparian project explores the potentials of adaptive and flexible systems to redefine the yacht and to provide the ultimate experience of living on the sea.

The Riparian is a new moving landscape whose purpose is to create a provocative conversation between the user, the yacht, and the environment. These three interdependent and essential elements define a condition where the yacht must adapt and transform to reflect the dynamic context of its surroundings. A facilitator for enhancing possibilities rather than an object for consumption, the Riparian creates new opportunities for clients wanting their yacht to have more purpose in their search to participate in life.

The focal point of the Riparian is the innovative superstructure which transforms continuously through a spectrum of positions, intelligently responding to environmental conditions and user inputs. These physical transformations use a Shape Memory Alloy (Nitinol) structural skeleton with specific active and passive nodes. The nodes control the shaping through large scale movements and fine tuning individual sections.

The superstructure is able to change and reduce its aerodynamic profile to increase efficiency and reduce harmful live loads. Ventilation is performed by changing the physical shape of the superstructure to create high and low pressure zones with prevailing wind direction to encourage and direct ventilation. The volumes of the spaces contained within the superstructure can be changed for heating and cooling requirements, and natural light and views are controllable through adjusting the physical location of the skin or modulating the transparency of the surface.

Juxtaposing the dynamic statement of the superstructure, the form language of the hull and decks create an artificial landscape that undulates and flows along many levels. This reference to terra firma creates a sense of connection to the familiar while offering unique opportunities to circulate around the yacht.

Water plays an important role to reinforce the feeling of landscape and to further connect the users to the nautical environment. The pool on the aft deck and the reflection pond on the perimeter of the Venture deck level blur the distinction between the boundaries of the yacht and that of the sea. Six levels of living spaces are centered around freestanding and functional objects organized like a gallery exhibit. These spaces are purposefully ambiguous yet playful. Veiling the immediate understanding of the arrangement of the living spaces encourages the users to explore each area, heightening their awareness of it.

Self-sufficiency of a yacht is inherently tied to its sustainability. A strong motivator for the design of the Riparian is a respect and concern for the environment. The yacht does not rely on fossil fuels, in turn reducing its carbon footprint by using only hydrogen and the sun for power generation. An advanced fuel cell system and photovoltaics embedded in the superstructure provides all the needed energy for propulsion and onboard systems.

All of the materials used regard sustainability, eco-friendliness, and longevity. The Riparian also complies to RINA Green star regulations, RINA Secure Yacht certification, and IMO Alternative Design initiatives. The Riparian erases the limited boundaries of traditional yacht design, representing a new direction of transformability and flexibility for the ultimate in sophistication.

Adam Voorhees
+1 818 731 3157
[email protected]



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