I've always had a fascination with luxury motoryachts, but never have I seen anything that comes close to the architectural brilliance of this.
WHY, or 'Wally-Hermes Yachts' to give the partnership it's full name, is the result of a new collaboration between Monaco yacht-maker Wally and French brand Hermes.
Their first luxury yacht concept is an exquisite feat of architectural design and engineering for only the very wealthiest of clients, and features a 38m wide open deck at the rear. The 58m long triangular vessel, which is many years in the making, has been tested in a specialised tank to analyse it's performance on the open water with highly successful results, and could go into production in the not-too-distant future.
What makes this worthy of mention as an architectural masterpiece is it's relevance to the challenges architects around the world are facing today. Not only in the beautiful attention to detail, the unique vision and the minimalist elegance of the interior, but also because a huge focus has been placed on the environmental and ecological aspects of the design.
A central on-board computer manages power generation and consumption across the vessel. Almost 900 square meters of photovoltaic cells contribute substantially to the requirements of the electric-diesel engine that powers the boat, and the design team are currently looking into a telescopic wind turbine system and retractable mast, with a 200 square metre sail providing at least 30% of the energy required to propel the boat.
There's certainly no denying the beauty of the design, even if it may seem a little extravagant. The light tones and open-plan interior make for a grand and expansive space, whilst sliding panels are reminiscent of japanese architecture. The sweeping central ramp emphasises the excessive scale of the design, and is bathed in light shining through the retractable roof above.
Other features include a 25m seawater pool that follows the curve of the bow, and a jogging track around the ship, inspired by coastal pathways.
Freestanding furniture makes the yacht feel more like a house than a boat - it's easy to imagine that on a vessel this size you might forget you were at sea.
A full size mock-up model allows the designers, as well as clients, to get a feel for the proposed spatial arrangements of the design.
It's certainly an awe-inspirign concept, and I look forward to seeing how the finished thing looks, most likely in quite a few years time.