This paper sets out to question whether lessons might

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This paper sets out to question whether lessons might be learned from the only other field of design operating at this scale: architecture. There are very few examples of façades in architecture with such large un-textured, uninterrupted surfaces. Indeed there is a large sector of the construction industry concerned with the design of both structural and decorative architectural elements and treatments. When buildings are designed like superyachts the results are contentious [4] [5]. At only 100m in length (roofline level), the Benthem Crouwel Wing of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (Figures 2-3) is a minnow in comparison with the very largest superyachts. Its smooth white façade is composed of 271 Twaron ® composite panels, seamlessly blended together. This is a material more often used for marine and aerospace applications [3]. The building was unveiled in September 2012 to a mixed reception. Michael Kimmelman, architecture critic for the New York Times wrote: ‘Offhand I can’t recall seeing a more ridiculous looking building than the new Stedelijk Museum, which recently opened here.’ [4] The L.A. Times’ architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne undermined the lead architect’s attempt to endear the public to the new annex by nicknaming it ‘the bathtub’: ‘Mels Crouwel dubbed his new addition to Amsterdam's Museumplein the 'bathtub,' a fitting description for such an oversized, antiseptic and mismatched design.’ [5]
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Figures 2-3: Benthem Crouwel Wing , Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2012) by Benthem Crouwel Architects [photographs by the author] If large-scale superyachts spend so much of their time nestling alongside terrestrial architecture, might we begin to question how appropriate their aesthetic is? Of course there are functional requirements for the structure and finish of any marine craft: corrosion resistance, UV stability, strength, weight, stiffness etc. There are also deeply rooted anthropological expectations of a superyacht’s aesthetic, but surely a balance can be achieved? Could superyachts be more sensitive to scale? As customers’ tastes inevitably become more sophisticated, boat designers must embrace the concept of luxification: enhancing the intrinsic luxury value of their vessels by engaging with new concepts of luxury [6]. This new aesthetic for the superyacht might very well derive from studying innovations in architecture, as traditional design language becomes devalued by ubiquity. 2. AESTHETIC PRINCIPLES There are a number of factors contributing to the superyachts’ aesthetic incongruence, which can be explained by reviewing three key aesthetic principles: 2.1 SCALING FALLACY Scaling Fallacy (also known as cube law and law of sizes) is defined as: ‘A tendency to assume that a system that works at one scale will also work at a smaller or larger scale.’ [7] This principle is primarily discussed in terms of interaction and loading assumptions, but we might well propose expanding its remit of application to the world of aesthetics. Superyacht design is currently very much a process of scaling. Hulls are ‘stretched’ in much the
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