Is it a bird’s nest? Is it a plane? Zaha Hadid designs a superyacht


To the
untrained eye, it might be a post-modern cheese grater or perhaps the results
of a brave but doomed attempt to build with putty. It is in fact the next
must-have for any self-respecting plutocrat in search of a waterborne pleasure
palace – a Zaha Hadid-designed superyacht.

see more pixs after the cut….


Iraqi-British architect has unveiled a range of vessels created for German
shipbuilder Blohm + Voss incorporating a sinuous “exoskeleton” of interwoven
support beams to give the ships a passing resemblance to the Beijing’s “Bird’s
Nest” Olympic stadium.
Dame Hadid,
who once said she does not design “nice buildings”, is renowned for her
elongated and often curving forms such as the Aquatics Centre for the London
Olympics last year. But her foray into marine architecture takes her liking for
flowing organic forms to several new levels, at least one of which could
incorporate an onboard swimming pool and a 007-style submersible.

The mesh-like
structure connects together the decks of six yacht designs drawn up by the
architect, ranging from a 128-metre “mothership” to a smaller 90-metre version
which has been turned into a workable model and named the “Jazz”.

Commenting on
the difficulties of reconciling her land-based buildings with ocean-going mogul
runabouts, Dame Hadid told Dezeen magazine: “As a dynamic object that moves in
dynamic environments, the design of a yacht must incorporate additional
parameters beyond those of architecture – which all become much more extreme on

It is not the
first time that Hamburg-based Blohm + Voss has recruited a leading architect or
designer to create an eye-catching marque, having previously enlisted Philippe
Starck and Briton Tim Heywood to dream up vessels.

But as the
superyacht market recovers from the travails of the 2008 crash, during which
newly cash-strapped oligarchs and billionaires abruptly cancelled orders,
manufacturers are once more seeking to differentiate themselves in a reinvigorated

It is
estimated that up to 700 superyachts, measuring 24 metres or more in length,
are currently under construction and with some 200 new billionaires created
last year alone there is an expectation of significant further orders, in
particular from Far East economies including Thailand and China.

As one
industry broker put it: “If you have got this sort of money then a yacht is a
pre-requisite. It’s just a matter of how much you want to spend and how long it
has got to be.”
In the
super-wealthy parlour game of bragging rights for the world’s biggest pleasure
boat, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich recently lost the top slot to the owners
of Azzam, a 180-metre behemoth which was revealed to have been built for the
Emir of Abu Dhabi.
Abramovich, whose £740m Eclipse features a bullet-proof master suite and
reputedly a missile defence system, had himself displaced American businessman
Larry Ellison’s 138-metre Rising Sun, which in turn overtook the 126-metre
Octopus owned by Mircosoft co-founder Paul Allen.

Any tycoon
persuaded of the merits of Dame Hadid’s design is likely to have wait four
years from placing an order to heading for Monaco on board his or her new
bauble. Dr Herbert Aly, Blohm + Voss chief executive, insisted the “bold new
vision” would be worth waiting for.

Others begged
to differ. One commentator on the Dezeen website said: “It looks like it was
designed with crayons by a bunch of four-year-olds drawing on one page.”
Another simply said: “A floating bicycle helmet.”

A computer-generated rendering of the superyacht

A look inside the luxurious superyacht

Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid (Getty)


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