In port it dwarfs the local architecture Figure 26 its simplicity contrasting

In port it dwarfs the local architecture figure 26

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surfaces conform to the archetype. In port it dwarfs the local architecture (Figure 26), its simplicity contrasting harshly with its surroundings. It appears quite simply to be out of scale – a giant model of a much smaller vessel. 4.4 PRECEDENTS While there is clearly a relationship being forged between terrestrial and marine architecture, the superyacht has yet to be bestowed with much more than styling cues from the world of buildings. When architects design superyachts the results so far conform to our expectations of what a superyacht is, and how that form might be surfaced and rendered. There is however a precedent for both architectural forms and materials on the water. Two projects by leading designers have surfaced in recent years: ‘Boat’ by Thomas Heatherwick (Figure 27) and Floating House (23m) by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec (Figure 28). Perhaps the fact that these are not perceived as luxury craft enabled the designers to deviate from convention? Heatherwick’s concept is clearly redefining the form of the riverboat, but is also the result of some interesting surface decisions: Tessellating aluminium panels (not painted white) break up the hull and superstructure. These panels intersect with wooden decking (unusually visible from the side) which gives warmth and contrast. We can also see completely through the vessel on three levels, which gives it a visual lightness. There is visible geometric structure and human-scale details (balustrading) are on clear view. In short: it uses many of the approaches introduced in section 3. It is floating architecture. Figure 27: Boat Concept (2012) by Heatherwick Studio [42] The Bouroullecs’ Floating House uses a similar material palette to ‘Boat’. Its superstructure is disrupted by vertical aluminium seams (visible manufacture) and horizontal wooden trellis (designed to support plant coverage) – a grid system created with raw architectural materials. We are also visually reminded of Raymond Loewy’s Greyhound Bus and the cars of New York’s Subway system – it is not static architecture, it remains a piece of transport design. Figure 28: Floating House (2006) by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec [43]
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5. CASE STUDY In response to this gap in current approaches, and as an attempt to demonstrate how architectural approaches might be applied more comprehensively to marine design a case-study design project was undertaken. Sam Richardson’s Hive mothership concept (Figures 29-30) is not a superyacht, but it is an example of how the architecture can inspire new directions in marine design and at 100m in length, is comparable in scale to a large superyacht. It was designed at Coventry University in 2013 and is one of the first projects to employ this aesthetic ideology. Designed to house 120 staff and crew, the Hive supports offshore wind farm maintenance.
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