zaha hadid has teamed up with hamburg-based shipbuilders blohm + voss to design a superyacht. the concept is based on the sculptural form of a master prototype for a 128m yacht–presented at an exhibition of the architect’s work at the david gill galleries in london–and is accompanied by ‘the unique circle yachts’, a family of five 90m vessels also designed by hadid. fluid dynamics and underwater ecosystems inform the organic shape of the luxury boat, with hydrodynamic research having played a larger role in the development of its hull.

zaha hadid designs 128m superyacht for blohm + voss


the entirety of the master prototype is enveloped in an exoskeleton structure that is composed of a network of supports that vary in thickness. the webbed formation of the boat’s upper area lends to the overall natural aesthetic employed in the external appearance, which references marine formations. this external shell visually and physically connects the different levels and decks of the ship via diagonals, opposing traditional yacht concepts that follow a stricter horizontal order.

zaha hadid designs 128m superyacht for blohm + voss
side view of the exoskeleton structure that unifies the levels of the luxury boat



the formal design language seen in the master prototype is applied to the schemes of the ‘unique circle yachts’. the first of this series of smaller boats is the ‘jazz’ that has been technically specified and detailed by naval architects at blohm+voss so that it matches the requirements needed for ocean crossings. the ‘jazz’ has been envisioned as a customizable boat whereby owners will be able to choose their own layout according to their preferences.

zaha hadid designs 128m superyacht for blohm + voss
detail of the fibrous looking web that forms the exterior shell




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.




zaha hadid designs 128m superyacht for blohm + voss
front view of the 90m ‘jazz’




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,’ says dr. herbert aly, CEO and managing partner of blohm+voss. ‘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 designs 128m superyacht for blohm + voss
interior pool on the project ‘jazz’



zaha hadid designs 128m superyacht for blohm + voss
top view of the ‘jazz’



zaha hadid designs 128m superyacht for blohm + voss
twin view of project jazz (90m) and the master prototype (128m)


zaha hadid designs 128m superyacht for blohm + voss


project info:


architect: zaha hadid design
design: zaha hadid, patrik schumacher
design team: thomas vietzke, jens borstelmann, daniel widrig, sofia daniilidou, ben grubert, phillip mecke, patrick euler
naval engineering: michael von der heide, thomas sperling
L.O.A.: 90.0m (295 ft)
beam (max): 16.0m (52ft)
draught: 4.2m (13ft)
speed (max): 16.0 kn
cruising speed: 14.0kn
range: 5000mm
class: lloyd’s register
propulsion: 2×2160 kw, diesel via gearbox to, fixed prop
manoeuvring system: 1 x bow thruster