Taking her sleek, space-age forms to the sea, Zaha Hadid has teamed up with Hamburg, Germany–based master shipbuilders Blohm+Voss to launch a fleet of signature superyachts. Together they have created The Unique Circle Yacht, a family of five distinct 90m yachts based on the design philosophies and sculptural contours of a 420-foot master prototype that was recently displayed in an exhibition of Hadid’s work at the David Gill Gallery in London. The web-like design of the yachts’ distinctively-Zaha upper exoskeleton was supposedly informed by fluid dynamics, underwater ecosystems, and the structural systems of marine organisms, while the hull was the result of intense hydrodynamic research.
Hadid broke with the traditional horizontal order of yacht design to create a fluid, naturalistic whole which seamlessly connects the ship’s various elements through a dynamic yet cohesive framework. As Hadid explained in a statement, a yacht is “a dynamic object that moves in dynamic environments,” and as such, its design “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.”
Out of the five Unique Circle Yachts, JAZZ is the first of which to be fully specified and detailed by the naval architects at Blohm+Voss. Each of the five yachts will be inimitable products of collaboration, combining the design language of the original prototype, specific technical refinements to address the distinct use of each yacht, and the individual requests of the vessels’ prestigious owners. As Dr. Herbert Aly, CEO and Managing Partner of Blohm+Voss explained in a statement, this formula allows for the creation of unique, exceptional objects of complete design, while offering an adaptable template for future innovation.
“On an aesthetic level a superyacht is a great design task as everything is customised down to the last detail,” said Aly. “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 utilizing 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.”
“The idea of the Unique Circle Yachts allows for variation of a genotype and its phenotypes,” Aly continued, “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.”