Pritzker prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid has collaborated with the renowned Hamburg-based shipbuilders Blohm+Voss to design a new superyacht. The design concept, launched at the latest exhibition of Zaha Hadid’s work at the David Gill Gallery in London, is based around the sculptural form of a master prototype conceived for a 128m yacht.
In addition, The Unique Circle Yachts by Zaha Hadid Architects for Blohm+Voss is a family of five individual 90m yachts that creatively explore the design philosophies of the master prototype within the technical requirements of a fully-engineered yacht design.
The overall design is informed by fluid dynamics and underwater ecosystems, with hydrodynamic research informing the design of the hull. The exoskeleton structure of the upper section is an interwoven network of supports that vary in thickness and lend a natural aesthetic to the yacht’s external appearance; evoking the organic structural systems found in natural marine formations. This exoskeleton connects the various levels and decks of the ship seamlessly via expressive diagonals. Whereas traditional yacht designs adhere to a strict horizontal order, Hadid has created an intense connectivity between the various decks and elements of the design. The fluid design language of the master prototype has been applied to subsequent variations of the Unique Circle Yachts 90m yacht concepts, creating a coherent design with the highest correlation between the various design options.
The 90m JAZZ yacht is the first of the five Unique Circle Yachts that has been technically specified and detailed by the naval architects at Blohm+Voss. Its lineage from the 128m master prototype is evident, with further technical refinements to address the specifications required for ocean crossings.
In addition to JAZZ, four further 90m yachts have been designed to fulfil the different requirements and individual requests of their designated owners. Each design will vary in layout according to the owner’s preferences.
The design process was very much a collaborative one, with Blohm+Voss and ZHA working together to address the practical challenges of designing a yacht while remaining true to the strong iterative design language of the master prototype. The resulting designs are the synergy of Hadid’s design vision and the technical expertise of Blohm+Voss, allowing a flexibility and customisation in the eventual design of the yacht. “As a dynamic object that moves in dynamic environments, the design of a yacht must incorporate additional parameters beyond those for architecture – which all become much more extreme on water. Each yacht is an engineered platform that integrates specific hydrodynamic and structural demands together with the highest levels of comfort, spatial quality and safety.” explained Zaha Hadid.
Blohm+Voss has the proven experience, the in-house technical expertise, and the capacities to offer tailor-made solutions for the most demanding buyers in the superyacht market. The naval architects of Blohm+Voss are forever pushing the boundaries of technology and innovation. In recent years Blohm+Voss has built many of the world’s most prestigious mega yachts. These include the groundbreaking 394-foot “A “designed by Philippe Starck and the “Eclipse”, designed by Terence Disdale, which at 533 feet (162.5 m), is the world's second largest private yacht. Other Blohm + Voss superyacht projects include, the “Mayan Queen IV” and the “Palladium”.
Dr. Herbert Aly, CEO and Managing Partner of Blohm+Voss says: “On an aesthetic level a superyacht is a great design task as everything is customised down to the last detail. A superyacht is by definition an exercise in total design, where every detail is looked at with attention and refinement. In the past, in the era of steam liners, there has been an attempt of utilising ship building elements in architecture. Zaha Hadid and her team have taken this ethos and created a bold new vision and a new benchmark in the design of superyachts.
Aly adds: “The idea of the Unique Circle Yachts allows for variation of a genotype and its phenotypes, offering a range of possible solutions based on an cognate platform. As a result Zaha Hadid’s design is malleable to suit the very individual wishes and needs of a potential customer which lies at the heart of Blohm+Voss’ approach to yacht design. The strength of the design lies not just in its functionality and form, but also its effortless adaptability.”
Zaha Hadid Architects and Blohm+Voss have transformed yacht design; creating an innovative concept and developing this vision into a fully seaworthy design that offers dynamic new possibilities for naval architecture.