Hulls are stretched in much the same way as

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a process of scaling. Hulls are ‘stretched’ in much the same way as automotive engineers stretch limousines; and superstructures extend to marry hulls, tiers are added. Of course not every aspect of a superyacht can be scaled-up. Staircases, handrails, furniture etc., must remain at human scale, though the large spaces can often withstand larger pieces of ‘statement design’: Design with a capital D. Scaling-up elements of the superstructure will of course increase strength, but this is at the expense of weight, both physical and visual. Of course we must maintain visual unity between the hull and superstructure: can the scale of both be limited in terms of visual impact? 2.2 PROXIMITY Proximity is of fundamental importance to the way in which we ‘read’ objects; this is one of the Gestalt principles – ‘Elements that are close together are perceived to be more related than elements that are farther apart.’ [7] The visual information we have available changes with proximity to the object being viewed, as does our perception. As we get closer to most buildings, the homogenous volumes we viewed at a distance change – we begin to see pattern and texture, as bricks, tiles, timbers, and textural rendered surfaces are revealed. The gloss white of a typical superyacht does not reveal its method of construction as we focus in. It is without texture, its elements hidden beneath a veneer of filler and paint. Other large vessels are less concerned with finish. Though also vast in size, the visible elements of both historic ships and modern liners (tessellated timbers, riveted panels) allow the viewer to read their forms differently with changing proximity – they are thus more in harmony with the port and its architecture. 2.3 THE IRRADIATION ILLUSION Objects that are lighter in colour than the background upon which they are viewed appear larger than darker objects on a lighter background. This principle is called irradiation illusion (illustrated in Figure 4) and was first witnessed by Galileo in the seventeenth century, but only explained recently by Kremkow et al. in their paper Neuronal Nonlinearity Explains Greater Visual Spatial Resolution For Darks Than Lights [8].
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Figure 4: The Irradiation Illusion: Which square appears larger? As many superyachts are white, and therefore mostly viewed against darker backgrounds, our perception of their size may be inflated in comparison with local architecture or landmarks. Of course users may want their yachts to appear larger than life, but once again this must be balanced – this time with their desire for sophistication. 3. SURFACE TREATMENT IN CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE This section comprehensively (but not exhaustively) reviews surfaces in contemporary architecture, categorising methodologies for surface design. Case studies will be used for illustrative purposes. Where possible (and appropriate), examples have been chosen that stand by the waterside.
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