Design for life: The 2018 SDS Design Challenge
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The 2018 SDS Design Challenge

The world’s finest superyacht designers and builders battled it out at this year’s Superyacht Design Symposium to create a rugged explorer for a demanding fictional owner — in just one hour. Here is the brief they were given...

You have been hired by a 45-year-old American who is the major shareholder of a multinational electronics brand. His family wealth originated in the Texas oil patch in the Gulf of Mexico. He keeps a Tiara Q44 for use on Long Island Sound in the summer, a Nautique G23 wakeboarding boat at his yacht club in Kemah, Texas, and his beloved classics — a 1953 Chris-Craft Racing Runabout and a 1967 Amphicar — stored near his ski lodge on Lake Tahoe.

He has chartered extensively, mainly adventurous yachts with lots of toys, outdoor space and range such as Sherakhan, Cloudbreak, Senses and Pioneer.

His vision is for a large yacht that provides multiple activities in order to offer the ultimate charter yacht for around $800,000 per week. He also thinks it would be cool to use the boat and its submarine for scientific missions with scientists on board so this would require a research area and specimen storage.

He’s into zip lining, rock climbing, diving, gambling, extreme fitness, skeet shooting, culinary adventures, photography, archaeological digs, wakeboarding, swimming and hosting parties. He’s also a foodie who loves to see food being prepared.

Finally, the boat should be dog friendly as he has two Czech Shepherds that he flies everywhere.

The owner

Corporate aircraft: NetJets Share, Gulfstream G450.

Cars: Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet, Tesla S, Aston Martin DB9 Volante, Cadillac Escalade.

Designers: Hugo Boss, Brioni, Tom Ford, and jeans by 7 For All Mankind.

Likes: Eames chairs, lofts, industrial chic and timber, modern furniture, neutral colours, books, jeans, old leather, rock ’n’ roll and R&B.

The rebuild

He has purchased, for $5 million, Ryan Chouest, a 67 metre offshore supply vessel, which he wants to refit into a superyacht with a maximum budget of $30 million. The vessel is ABS classed and has an interior volume of 1,409GT. The beam is 15 metres. You may add up to nine metres of overall length but must keep the existing placement of the bridge.

2/10
Sea Ranch

Team members

Steve Gresham, Fiona Diamond, Tim Gosling, Mark Tucker, Stefano Vafiadis and Glyn Hutchinson.

The design

Green credentials are a legal requirement to visit many of the pristine cruising grounds this owner has an eye on — and this design has them in spades, from diesel-electric propulsion and a photovoltaic helipad to the exhaust scrubbers for all power plants and even a “wind tower” generator. Touches to satisfy his sporting spirit, meanwhile, include a baseball batting cage and a trampoline (for the kids).

Star features

The 'Lucky Star' outside cinema is a deck space inspired by the owner’s Texas home — complete with fire pit and teppanyaki bar. There is also a wealth of toys, including a ski boat, ATV and Triton submersible.

3/10
Having It All

Team members

Andrew Langton, Pascale Reymond, Naomi Tobin, Elvire Blasset, Tom Beels and Martin Groen.

The design

The owner’s beloved dogs get their own territory away from smart guest spaces, with an AstroTurf-covered foredeck at their disposal.

Star feature

The aft section of the original vessel is extended to accommodate a spectacular gym and a superyacht beach club, while massive windows turn the saloon above into a lounge for observing the yacht’s exotic destinations. They’ve also packed in a wine cellar, massage room and spa.

4/10
Waterfall

Team members

James Roy, Janko Mahnic, Alessandro Quintavalle, Hans-Maarten Bais, Sebastian Burlet, Nicolas Cantenot and Jaap van der Velde.

The design

A liquid natural gas store and conversion plant, tucked away on the lower deck, mean the owner can roam the wildest reaches of the globe without leaving the smoggy carbon footprint of a diesel boat.

Star features

The superyacht helipad aft opens to reveal an infinity swimming pool, which in turn flows via a waterfall into the moon pool below — from which a submarine will be launched. There are also observation lounges both forward and aft so guests on adventurous charters won’t miss a thing.

5/10
The Dog House

Team members

Francesco Conte, Filippo Rossi, Jozeph Forakis, Mike Reeves, Michael Breman and Jerry Lakeman.

The design

This concept takes the culinary element of this brief to a new level with auditorium seating around an open kitchen.

Star features

A Leonardo AW609 TiltRotor (a plane/helicopter hybrid) lands on the grass-covered helipad, which doubles up as a party space and croquet lawn. There’s also a dedicated dog deck, all-glass panoramic gym on the beach club, hybrid power and a research area aft complete with an A-frame to launch a sub.

6/10
Zip 76

Team members

Romain Sauvage, Nicolò Piredda, Nigel Irens, Selmar Spijker, John Venables, Claudio Zimarino, Jens Weishaupt and Torin Melville.

The design

The owner demanded space to party and this design offers a flexible solution: the pool features a lifting bottom that rises to become a dance floor when needed. And because culinary adventures were as important as geographical ones, the show galley below the helideck is surrounded by glass, with an al fresco barbecue area.

Star features

A glass passage-cum-gym through the garage turns his beloved toys into exhibits in a showroom. For al fresco exercise, there’s also a tennis court on the helideck.

7/10
Lone Star

Team members

Yilin Huang, Justin Olesinski, Julian Vero, Peter Brown and Filippo Phelan.

The design

The owner wants to carry scientists and charterers — and this design strikes a beautiful balance. In between the main deck superyacht swimming pool and the moon pool (through which the submarine is launched) lies a specimen tank. After a dive, scientists deposit their catch in the tank, and guests can view them through thick glass from the swimming pool.

Star features

Kids get in on the underwater action too, with a deep zone in the pool where they can learn to dive; lower down, a glass tunnel leads through the pool into a spectacular play zone.

8/10
Wish 77

Team members

Alex Innes, James Watlington, Mike Brandt, Frank Neubelt and Susan Venables.

The design

Placing exploration and research at the fore, this design incorporates an 25 metre landing craft as well as cameras both under water and below the crow’s nest, which relay footage to the cinema.

Star features

There’s a self-levelling gambling table and bar on the crow’s nest platform. Lower down, there’s a treadmill for the owner’s dogs, an indoor-outdoor party area with DJ station and a wine cellar.

9/10
Kads 33

Team members

Elizabeth Kozlova, Michael von der Heide, Gregor Pozar, Patrick Lahey, Aristotelis Betsis, Paolo Foglizzo and Ronno Schouten.

The design

This boat is both a party pad — with an open “floating” party space that juts out of the forward superstructure, complete with DJ and fire pit — and a natural wonderland, with a helideck lawn with flowers and even small trees (out of the heli-zone), for the dogs to enjoy.

Star features

The moon pool and its submarine are given pride of place in the middle of the owner’s suite, while the beach club slides out in hot climates — and stays indoors when it’s cold.

10/10
LUCE

Team members

Guehun Lee, Sally Storey, Pavel Kadlecek, Bas Nederpelt, Robert van Tol, Karsten Ehling, Guido de Cesare and Gianmarco Cardia.

The design

Because the owner loves photography, this design incorporates an observatory with a rotating floor, for spectacular snaps of his far-flung destinations.

Star features

An open-plan kitchen connected to a loft-style living space reflects both the owner’s love of food and his modern lifestyle. A glass corridor through the engine room, meanwhile, shows off the diesel-electric system.

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