Following the success of our series on the ICON Yachts Design Challenge a fourth studio, Newcruise, has entered the fray with a well-balanced, contemporary conversion of the 59m survey vessel.
The Dutch builder ICON Yachts originally asked three design studios ( Dixon Yacht Design, Ivan Erdevicki and H2 Yacht Design) to plan the transformation of HR MS Blommendal into a superyacht – but due to the challenge's popularity the extra studio was recently added. Built by Amels in 1973 for the Dutch Maritime Institution, the ship is one of a whole series retiring from service and becoming available for conversion into superyachts – making the challenge a highly practical exercise.
Logically for a vessel with a tough commercial hull, all the designers involved in the challenge have had explorer ambitions for their entry. Newcruise, whose previous conversions have included the explorer-style motor yachts Penguin, 55m and Absinthe, 62m were no exception.
‘We see it as an ocean discovery vessel for a private owner, allowing them worldwide cruising from Arctic waters to equatorial destinations under safe and comfortable conditions,’ says Newcruise owner and director Roland Krueger. ‘This picks up the line from her classic duties as a training ship for Dutch naval crews.’
The look is contemporary, with natural wave-like curves in the forward superstructure preventing sleek lines veering into aggressiveness.
‘We’re most proud of increasing protected superstructure volume while maintaining harmonic modern lines, as well as fusing the existing hull and new superstructure together to form a monolithic unit,’ says Krueger. ‘It is a well balanced design maintaining the vessels history while adjusting the volumes thoughtfully to their new intended purpose.’
Awards for the ICON design challenge will be announced during the Antibes Yacht Show by judges from ICON Yachts and Boat International Media.