Schwinge unveils futuristic pyramid-shaped Tetra superyacht concept

Designer Jonathan Schwinge has created a conceptual superyacht with a pyramid-shaped body that would lift itself above the water at high speeds.

Schwinge's eponymous studio looked to existing hydrofoil technology when designing the futuristic Tetra yacht, which takes its name from its unusual tetrahedron shape.

"The design is instigated by the re-thinking of the form, superstructure and propulsion of the modern superyacht into a radically simple enclosure and an elevated mode of travel above the water line," said Schwinge.

Tetra yacht by Schwinge

The vessel's hovering appearance would be produced by a "hydrofoil small waterplane area ship" (HYSWAS) hull.

Hydrofoil boats have hulls fitted with shaped vanes – known as foils – underneath, which lift the hull clear of the water when travelling at speed. This reduces drag on the water's surface and allows the vessel to move faster.

Working on the same principle, the Tetra would travel using three hulls on its underside at low speeds.

Tetra yacht by Schwinge

When it picks up momentum, a torpedo-shaped strut would extend down – helping to lift the yacht out of the water using its rotating side-mounted adjustable foils.

"The concept design of this HYSWAS craft is based upon an existing hull design that has been developed by several companies, notably the Maritime Applied Physics Corporation in America, and has been proven by their technology demonstrator – The Quest – in 1995," said Schwinge.

Once above the surface, the boat could provide a smoother ride in stormy ocean conditions, according to the designer.

Tetra superyacht by Schwinge
A torpedo-shaped hull would help lift the Tetra superyacht out of the water at high speeds

Tetra would be built using a carbon-fibre superstructure with stainless steel. It would accommodate six passengers and four crew members.

When docked, portions of the luxury yacht's three sides would fold down to become enlarged deck areas and horizontal panels could emerge overhead to provide sun shades.

Other unusual yachts include Jacques Rougerie's cross between a skyscraper and a boat for exploring unchartered ocean territories, and Zaha Hadid's superyachts with lattice-like exteriors for Blohm+Voss.

Project credits:

Project instigation and designer: Jonathan Schwinge/Schwinge
Tetra lightweight technologies and project management: Marcel Müller, INMAINCO Visionary Marine Management
Tetra HYSWAS propulsion: The Maritime Applied Physics Corporation, USA
CGI visuals: Eyelevel UK