"Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit"
Frank Borman. Astronaut.
Orions Belt, a name inspired by space exploration, was an idea formed from two emerging trends on the mega rich and yacht owners running in parallel.
The Future is Self Sufficient Explorer Yachts.
The research showed that yacht owners now not only want to excel in luxury and comfort but also in environmental sustainability. The function of the yacht is also changing, owners are becoming more discreet and tired of sitting in marinas, exploration and new discoveries are at the forefront of their mind.
Luxuries with Social Conscience.
In tandem, a 'green' social conscience is emerging rapidly among the mega rich and is becoming a necessity for everything they own. It raises the possibility for a new form of luxury that is interwoven with sustainability. Merging both of these directions, the future of the super-yacht must be expedition capable and contribute to the environment in some form.
The World's 90,000 vessels emit 260 times (20 Million Tones) more sulphur oxide than the World's entire car fleet per annum.
Environmentally Sustainable SuperYachts.
Trend or Necessity?
Light is only beginning to emerge on the damage the World's vessels are causing to the environment. The IMO (International Maritime Organization) released mandatory standards for a cleaner fuel by 2020 and that sulfur in fuel must be reduced by 90%. This makes it very clear, that future Superyachts must be cleaner, but on top of that could they also contributed to the environment in a tangible way?
The average superyacht owner uses their ship for one month per year. How could the yacht be used to benefit the environment in its spare time?
Environmental Concept Development
Concept development for how the yacht could contribute to the environment took a number of different avenues, baring in mind that each idea must satisfy the owners 'green' social conscience. The first was perhaps the yacht could act as research vessel and be hired out to a body like USARC (US arctic research commission). The yacht would need to be designed to collect data and mapping of coastal environments, terrestrial imagery and elevation data and be able to withstand harsh conditions, influencing its exterior design.
Another avenue investigated was solar energy gathering, more so as a fleet. One idea being a fleet of unused solar equipped vessels which would be docked in a formation similar to a solar field, supplying energy into a city grid. The area that was most pressing and relevant came from a hard fact "80% of the total marine debris floating in the World's oceans are plastics", How could a yacht help in its reduction? This theme was selected and integrated into the design.
The Future is an Environmentally Conscious Luxury Exploration Yacht.
Visually Orion should look capable and strong in order to reveal its intent. The use of layering proved to give off an impression of strength, much like a Knights Armour. Inspiration also came from the experience of discovering hidden details within these layers, much like finding a hidden logo in the surface layering of a BMW I8. Capability and speed go hand in hand but how do we capture the essence of it? Research into the posture of a crouched cheetah just before exploding with lighting speed revealed a leaning wedge shape, which went on to inspire the leaning superstructure of Orion.
Through design, Orion's exterior became relevant to its intention.
Strong Presence from Core Design Details.
The front elevation shows the leaning of the superstructure, inspired by natures fastest creature, the cheetah. The vinyl, carbon fiber and steel layering was inspired by the layering of a knights armour, this not only adds structural fortitude but also adds the visual impression of strength. Extreme conditions are tackled with an inverted bow that cuts effortlessly through strong waves, complemented by large wave deflectors and 360 degree rotating thrusters for maximum maneuverability, this machine is designed to explore.
The front three quarter clearly demonstrates intent, speed and power through its stance. This is partly thanks to the use of layering and also the inverted bow and large wave deflectors, which allow for greater efficiency and higher speeds. The large geometric semi transparent gold vinyl hides the windows, allowing the exterior to remain smooth and minimal. If one desires, the vinyl can easily be removed and refitted in a different colour saving huge costs compared to a re-paint.
Orion's exterior identity is defined by only a few lines, interesting surfacing does not always need to be complex. The rear of the yacht is the main point for passenger entry/exit, via a large gull wing door with no exposed exterior steps in order to reduce the chances of piracy. The stern door is set in a black geometric structure that extrudes outwards from inside the vessel, giving the impression of multiple layers. The rear three quarter also highlights the geometric to smooth surface transition.
Visible, only when Necessary.
It was important that the exterior design remained very clean and true to its sculptural inspiration without any distractions, therefore a lot of features were hidden unless necessary. One example being the motorized doors located at the bow and stern of the ship used to hide the rope and cleats, only to be revealed when required. Orion's uncluttered exterior is complimented by large panoramic glass houses on each deck, the yacht has a sculptural feel, especially from the front view.
"80% of the total marine debris floating in the World's oceans are plastics."
What if Orion could aid in its reduction?
On top of a hybrid propulsion system, Orion has the ability to directly contribute to the environment by helping to reduce the oceans plastic. It can perform this at any stage when the ship crosses paths with floating debris. Two large arms skim the surface of the water, funneling plastic into the rear of the hull for processing. It can then be used as material for an on board 3D printer or transported to a recycling plant.
The system not only helps the environment but also satisfies this emerging 'green' social conscience of the super rich. On a larger scale a fleet of ships could be autonomously sent out to known plastic plooms, owners competing for the title of most plastic collected, all the better for the environment.
Taking inspiration from lighting design in the automotive industry, how can a yacht increase its night time presence?
Brand Identity in Darkness.
Lighting design in the automotive industry has evolved to reflect the brand and if executed well, will clearly highlight the make of car at night without other design hints. The key, seems to be in the shape of the light itself. Inspired by this, Orion has paths of light which hug its unusual contours, creating a clear night time identity that is indistinguishably Orion.
"Owners are becoming allergic to marinas, exploration and new discoveries are at the forefront of their mind."
Orion was designed to explore.
Afterlife, Orion could be a Research Vessel.
Located just behind the bow of the ship is a large multi functional hangar bay, an essential component for exploration. The owner can load whatever equipment is necessary depending on the mission. The owner could also lease the yacht to an organization that might need its services, for example if a natural disaster occurs the yacht can be used to transport medical supplies.
A Reminder of Home
Sitting under a tree is perhaps the best reminder of land, listening to the sound of the leaves in the breeze and sheltering under its branches in the rain. The Olive tree’s purpose is to tackle perhaps the only negative of exploration by reminding us of home when out at sea for prolonged periods of time.
Subtle Design Features.
A Vinyl to Suit your Style.
The large geometric semi transparent vinyl hides the windows, allowing the exterior to remain smooth and minimal. If one desires, the vinyl can easily be removed and refitted in a different colour saving huge costs compared to a re-paint.
This is the primary staircase from the lobby to the 1st deck. The staircase was inspired by seamless sculptures and needed to be consistent with the exterior of the yacht. Hence, the steps are made from single pieces of extruded aluminium which then gracefully merge into glass above floor height, surrounded by a strip of light. This reflects a similar merger of materials and a layering effect that is seen on the exterior.
Inspired by natures most relaxing environment, the deck mimics the slant of the sand merging into the sea, providing a truly immersive experience. The beach also interacts with the geometric decking in a playful way, by transitioning gradually from wood into a soft, textured polymer. No more messy sand.
Visible when Necessary
The same principle of ‘everything is hidden unless necessary’ also applies to the hand rails. They only appear wherever the user is on the deck. The glass panels also double as an interface to control different functions on board, saving a journey inside or having to carry a tablet. The automated panels also make it hard for any intruder to latch onto the hull, helping to deter piracy.
CAD & Modeling
The CAD and model building was not outsourced. The concept was displayed at Dubai Design Week as one of the most innovative projects from 10 of the World's leading design schools.