BMT Nigel Gee celebrated award success at the recent Monaco Yacht Show for its avant-garde concept design, Project Utopia, developed in partnership with Yacht Island Design and unveiled at the event last month.
The SuperYacht Owners’ Guide (SYOG) awards which were newly launched at the show featured two categories: “Contribution to Superyacht Knowledge”, picked up by Dominion Consultants and “Superyacht Design of the Future” which BMT and Yacht Island Design won.
James Roy, Yacht Design Director at BMT Nigel Gee explains: “The level of enthusiasm around Project Utopia has been overwhelming and it’s great that the judging panel of these awards has recognised and duly credited the concept as a real and possible vision of the future. The origin of Utopia came from a client’s brief which was to have ‘a piece of floating real estate that could be moved between nice locations’. I remember very clearly a moment of excitement when the design team realised that the project would not necessarily have to end up looking like a traditional yacht. However, that particular brief evolved into a need to travel at speed, which forced the design into a more traditional form. Nevertheless, the seed to create a project outside the bounds of normal proportion and form had been sown and the intervening years saw us take inspiration from all areas of naval architecture. We concluded that if we removed the perception that a yacht had to be a mode of transport then the creative envelope could open up considerably.”
Measuring 100 metres in length and breadth, and spanning over 11 decks with the equivalent volume of a present‐day cruise liner, there is enough space to create an entire micronation. The Project Utopia design is based on a four legged platform employing the same principals of any small waterplane area design for minimum motions in even the most extreme sea conditions. Each leg supports a fully azimuthing thruster and with four such units, the design can redeploy between desired locations at slow speeds. A large central structure bisects the water surface acting as the conduit for the mooring system which is a critical element of the design, as well as housing a wet dock for access by tenders. In addition to tender access the design features multiple helicopter pads.
James Roy concludes: “Whilst Utopia has been conceptualised within a yacht context that in itself is not a particularly defining label to give such a design. We see greater application in floating resorts, casinos, or adapting the label of a ‘yacht’ to a ‘personal island’, coming back to the brief that inspired the project – a piece of floating real estate”.