Superyachts by Zaha Hadid
for Blohm+Voss


London architect Zaha Hadid has designed a family of superyachts for German shipbuilders Blohm+Voss (+ slideshow).

Superyachts by Zaha Hadid for Blohm+Voss
Concept for 128-metre yacht

Zaha Hadid created a concept for a 128-metre yacht, which informed the design of five smaller vessels engineered by Blohm+Voss.

Superyachts by Zaha Hadid for Blohm+Voss
Concept for 128-metre yacht

The upper structure of the design is formed from sinuous shapes connecting the different decks. This conceptual language has been pared down and applied to a series of 90-metre-long Unique Circle Yachts, refined so the vessels meet the technical specifications for ocean crossings.

Superyachts by Zaha Hadid for Blohm+Voss
Concept for 128-metre yacht

"As a dynamic object that moves in dynamic environments, the design of a yacht must incorporate additional parameters beyond those for architecture – which all become much more extreme on water," said Hadid. "Each yacht is an engineered platform that integrates specific hydrodynamic and structural demands together with the highest levels of comfort, spatial quality and safety."

Superyachts by Zaha Hadid for Blohm+Voss
Concept for 128-metre yacht

The JAZZ yacht, the first of five in the range, has a sharp solid prow and becomes more open towards the back. The other four boats will be customised to meet the requirements of their owners.

Superyachts by Zaha Hadid for Blohm+Voss
JAZZ yacht (left) next to the 128-metre concept yacht

Previously Hadid was commissioned to design a limited-edition speedboat for American art dealer Kenny Schachter and we've also featured a megayacht designed by Philippe Starck for Steve Jobs.

Yesterday we published a curvaceous wine bottle designed by Hadid, while her library for a Vienna university completed earlier this month.

See more architecture and design by Zaha Hadid »
See more boat design »

Visualisations are by moka-studio.

Keep reading for more details from the design team:

Zaha Hadid designs Superyacht for Blohm+Voss

Pritzker prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid has collaborated with the renowned Hamburg-based shipbuilders Blohm+Voss to design a new superyacht.

The design concept, launched at the latest exhibition of Zaha Hadid's work at the David Gill Gallery in London, is based around the sculptural form of a master prototype conceived for a 128m yacht. In addition, The Unique Circle Yachts by Zaha Hadid Architects for Blohm+Voss is a family of five individual 90-metre yachts that creatively explore the design philosophies of the master prototype within the technical requirements of a fully-engineered yacht design.

Superyachts by Zaha Hadid for Blohm+Voss
JAZZ yacht

The overall design is informed by fluid dynamics and underwater ecosystems, with hydrodynamic research informing the design of the hull. The exoskeleton structure of the upper section is an interwoven network of supports that vary in thickness and lend a natural aesthetic to the yacht's external appearance; evoking the organic structural systems found in natural marine formations. This exoskeleton connects the various levels and decks of the ship seamlessly via expressive diagonals. Whereas traditional yacht designs adhere to a strict horizontal order, Hadid has created an intense connectivity between the various decks and elements of the design. The fluid design language of the master prototype has been applied to subsequent variations of the Unique Circle Yachts 90-metre yacht concepts, creating a coherent design with the highest correlation between the various design options.

The 90m JAZZ yacht is the first of the five Unique Circle Yachts that has been technically specified and detailed by the naval architects at Blohm+Voss. Its lineage from the 128-metre master prototype is evident, with further technical refinements to address the specifications required for ocean crossings.

Superyachts by Zaha Hadid for Blohm+Voss
JAZZ yacht

In addition to JAZZ, four further 90-metre yachts have been designed to fulfil the different requirements and individual requests of their designated owners. Each design will vary in layout according to the owner's preferences.

The design process was very much a collaborative one, with Blohm+Voss and ZHA working together to address the practical challenges of designing a yacht while remaining true to the strong iterative design language of the master prototype. The resulting designs are the synergy of Hadid's design vision and the technical expertise of Blohm+Voss, allowing a flexibility and customisation in the eventual design of the yacht.

Superyachts by Zaha Hadid for Blohm+Voss
JAZZ yacht

"As a dynamic object that moves in dynamic environments, the design of a yacht must incorporate additional parameters beyond those for architecture – which all become much more extreme on water. Each yacht is an engineered platform that integrates specific hydrodynamic and structural demands together with the highest levels of comfort, spatial quality and safety," explained Zaha Hadid.

Blohm+Voss has the proven experience, the in-house technical expertise, and the capacities to offer tailor-made solutions for the most demanding buyers in the superyacht market. The naval architects of Blohm+Voss are forever pushing the boundaries of technology and innovation. In recent years Blohm+Voss has built many of the world's most prestigious mega yachts. These include the groundbreaking 394-foot "A" designed by Philippe Starck and the "Eclipse", designed by Terence Disdale, which at 533 feet (162.5 metres), is the world's second largest private yacht. Other Blohm+Voss superyacht projects include, the "Mayan Queen IV" and the "Palladium".

Superyachts by Zaha Hadid for Blohm+Voss
JAZZ yacht

Dr. Herbert Aly, CEO and Managing Partner of Blohm+Voss says: "On an aesthetic level a superyacht is a great design task as everything is customised down to the last detail. A superyacht is by definition an exercise in total design, where every detail is looked at with attention and refinement. In the past, in the era of steam liners, there has been an attempt of utilising ship building elements in architecture. Zaha Hadid and her team have taken this ethos and created a bold new vision and a new benchmark in the design of superyachts.

"The idea of the Unique Circle Yachts allows for variation of a genotype and its phenotypes, offering a range of possible solutions based on an cognate platform. As a result Zaha Hadid's design is malleable to suit the very individual wishes and needs of a potential customer which lies at the heart of Blohm+Voss' approach to yacht design. The strength of the design lies not just in its functionality and form, but also its effortless adaptability."

Zaha Hadid Architects and Blohm+Voss have transformed yacht design; creating an innovative concept and developing this vision into a fully seaworthy design that offers dynamic new possibilities for naval architecture.

  • Cherif

    20000 Leagues Under The Sea!

  • Joe

    The Jazz Yacht is unique and great. The bigger 128m one is a bit of a disaster. It looks like it was designed with crayons by a bunch of 4 year olds drawing on one page.

  • Ard Buijsen

    Theatre, museum, shopping mall, yacht. They all look the same. So much for context…

    • Grapes

      A yacht has no context?

    • amsam

      Context is totally overrated.

      • Ben

        Best comment on Dezeen for a while!

    • david c.

      Totally agree!

  • Eddie Sampaio

    To whom bad taste is essential!

  • Vicki

    I guess not all designed items utilising this style of sinewy fluidness works well. This in particular makes me feel a little sick. Creepy.

  • Pascal

    Maybe Zaha Hadid has Alzheimer´s disease because she’s repeating again. It’s getting boring.

  • OMG . she is going down

    Dear ZAHAHA, why oh why? It’s just ugly.

  • Zola

    This wasn’t designed, it escaped!

  • Abdi Wallah

    This will look amazing in the night with the lights, but in the daytime it’ll just look odd and really ‘fugly’. I believe Zaha’s creations were made for the night and not for the day.

  • Skip

    This is getting to be too much. Zaha may be a great designer and like many other designers she may be able to design anything, but that does not mean that she (or anyone else) should. There are limits and they are usually defined by the term “saturation”. Moderation would be good here (and not just on her part…Dezeen?) since saturation lowers value.

  • ale

    Please Zaha, leave the ocean being a pleasant place.

    • JW

      Leave the planet and built something on the moon – a flying rocket or anything that doesn’t harm the beauty of planet Earth!

  • H-J

    A floating bicycle helmet.

    • patricia mato-mora

      True. Bothers me less that a bicycle helmet in a city skyline, though.

  • hunt

    Yawn. Zaha is becoming the Henry Ford of the design world.

  • Catalin David

    It seems that Zaha is bigger than architecture & design together.

  • Nathan Morton

    Zaha can design any style you want, as long as it’s bicycle helmet.

  • hellfire

    Don’t be so naive. Anyone with a grasp of parametric modelling could churn something similar out. “Control of double curvature” is a laughable post to prop your argument on. It’s not whether someone can model these overused forms she chooses (and i’m a bit doubtful she could model this personally), it’s utilising them in a contextual way appropriate to the design.

  • Maxwell_Smarty

    I’m sorry but visit any graduate school doing digital design and you will see literally hundreds of projects that have equal if not better “control of double curvature” because frankly, the software does almost all of the work for you. This design can be made in Maya in less than a day.

  • Concerned Citizen

    You just don’t get it. Most of us would not want to design anything like this. Some prefer to use mature and human design abilities rather than letting a computer do the design.

    • Mood

      How dull, you are all idiots taking designs and modelling so lightly.

      • Concerned Citizen

        If you could design, you would know better than to spout off like that.

  • parker

    It’s a lucky thing for Zaha that there are enough megalomaniacs out there to keep her in business.

  • pickname

    To put an end to the discussion: Just admit it everyone, if you could get away with doing similar shapes for each project and get paid large amounts of money for it, you would do that too.

  • ювелирный магазин

    Wow what a look. Total future.

  • spadestick

    Check out the “Wally why” super super yacht. Dezeen should be covering that instead of grotesque designs by an overhyped, overrated architect.

  • DK405

    Wow, Concerned Citizen, you should get a job and stop sitting around all day trolling ZHA’s projects! Why dont you post your own designs so we can all see how brilliant you are?

  • Nick

    I’m really not a huge fan of Zaha, as people have said here everything she designs seems to be the same. However for a boat, I think this works. Maybe more by luck than judgement, but her “bicycle helmet” frame style fits with the nautical theme. The yacht looks like the skull of some mythical giant sea creature to me.
    Plus the more boats she designs, the less time she has to design stuff on land!

    • Rodion

      Same forms, different references.

  • Steeevyo

    Booohooohooo. Everything Zaha does looks the same …
    *implied facepalm*

  • brih

    Not “better opinions”, just different ones! You may not agree with Nik but it doesn’t invalidate his comment.

  • Jack

    C’mon, let’s call it “fractal design”, give an input to the PC and let it think for you, making a kind of weird-organic-shape. So let me say WTF!

  • Spacelab Architects

    This is marketing, not a masterpiece in yacht design. Nouveaux riches still seem to prefer weird, out-of-scale knickknacks and ZHA concepts definitely look like naff, over-designed, hypertrophic floating sneakers. Period.

    Look at Wallypower118, instead: it seems 20 years ahead, although designed in 1999.

  • Neal Swarbrick

    Well I love the design. All you haters are just boring-old-has-been stick-in-the-muds. Time to retire to a sunset home and let the future take over.

  • Nick

    Ummm, yes, I’ve been working in architecture in the UK for several years now, so I’ve got a basic grasp of that. I was being sarcastic. Thanks though.

  • Guapador

    Doesn’t matter whether it’s a boat or a shoe or a museum – it always looks like a burn victim.

  • damn

    This is a really horrible drift, when style and concept overcome everything done before in a field of knowledge.

    Maybe they are even able to built it and make it float, but even if it’s trying to suggest the idea of a ship’s F1, it will never be. Disgusting and not inspiring at all.

  • Rae Claire

    My impression too. Captain Nemo would love it! Imagine his steampunk furnishings and equipment in here. Time for a remake! Only thing left to decide: who plays Nemo?

  • Mr Walnut Grey

    Revolting! In the worst possible taste.

  • Laszlo Kiss

    What ever happened to learning for the rest of your life? and developing new ideas? This is just lame.

  • CharlieBing

    Ah… the effluence of affluence.

  • Denis A. Pettigrew

    I would like to see pictures taken from inside out to see the view one has.

  • Bassel

    The aerodynamic efficiency must be verified by a wind tunnel test. But your argument is a bit contradictory. Why would a speed-yachting aficionado want to feel on land while sailing? This yacht is obviously not for the purists.

  • martham

    Best comment yet! :)

  • Torquee

    Actually – look at existing traditional crap yachts. Zaha’s concept would make the rest look so off. Shipyards/builders are spending millions on traditional shapes that no-one knows where it comes from or why, because they believe it’s what clients want. This is progressive and using building technology of today – well done (I’m talking about the concept yacht of course)!