Boat International Media has announced the six finalists of the 2014 Young Designer of the Year Awards.
Lujac Desautel, Dennis Dreier, Graham Kukla, Raphael Laloux, Jiantao Zhu and Daniel Zoghby were chosen out of 21 students and trainee designers from around the globe.
‘The judges considered that the finalists were all of a particularly high standard considering the difficulty of the task,’ chairman of the judges Roger Lean-Vercoe notes in his report. ‘So high, in fact, that they could not split the fifth and sixth place, and this resulted in two equal fifths.’
This year’s entrants were asked to design a superyacht based on a commercially available 60m SWATH (Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull) hull. The SWATH’s unconventional underwater lines offered an exceptionally stable platform, but the unusual configuration of its superstructure – necessary to maintain the vessel’s exactly-positioned centre of gravity – presented styling challenges. Other unchangeable considerations included hulls filled with technical equipment that offered no space for crew accommodation, and the owner’s requirement for a child-friendly world-cruiser, along with specific requests for accommodation and other on-board facilities.
The task required ‘a great deal of original thought’ as Lean-Vercoe puts it, and while some entrants fell into the usual traps of not reading the question thoroughly and running out of time to complete their designs, all the finalists rose to the challenge admirably.
Dennis Dreier’s concept vessel, Excelsior has the solid look of an explorer – in the words of one judge it is a boat that, ‘you’d want to go to Norway in.’ The judges also praised Dreier’s response to the requirement to protect the tenders, which he enclosed in bubble garages aft. Meanwhile, the judges felt that the light, modern interior and large viewing spaces of Daniel Zoghby’s Coda design complemented its dynamic exterior. Lujac Desautel’s appropriately named Glass concept was, ‘perfect for a family to enjoy travelling the world,’ said one judge. They also thought the design’s architectural looks combined with the hull’s proven seaworthy characteristics, might persuade the owner’s wife – who according to the brief was not keen on boats in rough seas – feel comfortable.
Graham Kukla’s Mosso features spacious outdoor areas and his interior design was praised for, ‘making something of the big spaces,’ as well as, ‘a nice family deck, so children don’t feel like they are being pushed off somewhere.’ Raphael Laloux’s Symphony features a novel ‘through-deck’ launching system for the tenders, and curving promenades spiralling around the superstructure, as well as a children’s slide wrapped around the mast, which is itself a climbing wall: ‘If you go around the world with kids no boat is going to feel very big – but with this one you go on an adventure,’ said one judge. Jiantao Zhu’s Swan design offers a classic exterior that several judges considered to be highly commercial.
The judging panel comprises James Chorley from Bannenberg & Rowell, Veerle Battiau from Vitruvius Yachts and Philippe Briand Yacht Design, Bart Bouwhuis from Vripack, William Collier from G.L. Watson, Peder Eidsgaard from Eidsgaard Design, Tim Heywood from Tim Heywood Design, André Hoek from Hoek Naval Architects, Rob Humphreys from Humphreys Yacht Design, Simon Jupe from HYS Yachts, Adam Lay from Adam Lay Studio and Andreas Iseli from Andrew Winch Designs.
All six finalists will receive the invaluable experience of an all-expenses-paid visit to event sponsor Oceanco’s inspiring shipyard in The Netherlands. Oceanco will present the winner with a coveted Neptune trophy together with a €5,000 cash prize at the ShowBoats Design Awards at the Swarovski Crystal World in Wattens, Austria on Monday 24th February, in conjunction with Oceanco.
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2002 / 2008