Superyacht Design Concepts

RMD was appointed in 2003 to design the exterior and interior of a luxury six-star superyacht hotel to be moored at Canary Wharf in London.

The brief was to create a hotel design that took on all the styling icons associated with superyachts both internally and externally.

The hotel yacht would be 170m long, 24m wide and some 30m high. Facilities would include 180 staterooms from 40 to 180 square metres, three restaurants, two bars, a business centre with five meeting suites, and a function room for 300 people.

Permanently moored, the Aquiva Superyacht Hotel is to describe the epitome of super luxury, catering to both the corporate and leisure markets.

Market Analysis

RMD worked closely at the early stage with the Aquiva Development Group to analyse the marketplace and subsequent marketing data to enable us to approach the design philosophy aligned to the requirements of the luxury end user.

In addition, we also worked closely with Aquiva and local institutions such as the LFB, Tower Hamlets Planning Dept, Canary Wharf plc, the local residents association and Lloyds of Rotterdam, to ensure adherence to all necessary regulations. This was a particularly complex project as it fell within the jurisdictions of bothTower Hamlets and Lloyds and careful negotiation was needed to ensure that both sets of regulations were respected.

Lead Concept Designer

As Aquiva’s appointed lead concept designer, RMD was charged with overseeing and managing project consultants such as QS services, Turner + Townsend project management team, I2D for HVAC, Drum Cussac for security, Ken Winch for F+B design, Saville Bird Axon for access, to name a few, as well as reporting back to the client with regular progress updates.

RMD developed the exterior styling and details of the vessel working with shipyard naval architects from Harland and Wolff as well as working in conjunction with shipyards in Dubai, Europe and China.

We developed the design and construction strategy for the accommodation, creating a standard cabin pod that could be adapted by removing, adding or re-orientating integrated furniture units. This creates efficiency during manufacture without removing the essence of quality and individuality expected within a six-star environment.

Cross-fertilising our skills with those of our sister company RMD Marine, we were able to successfully design an interior layout for eight decks while concurrently developing the exterior design. Full 2D CAD plan packages were produced, including all elevations, floor finish plans, reflected ceiling plans, lighting plans and circuit diagrams.

In addition, detail sheets where produced for each area with every material finish and product coded to correspond with the specification document and scope of works.

Material boards where presented showing soft furnishing and material choices, with hand-rendered sketches showing colourways and finishes.

RMD also produced 3D Alias views of the interiors as well as walkthrough animations.

Civil Design

Liaising with structural and civil engineers, RMD engineered the design of the landside development, designing the detailed strategy for the dockside and access pontoons, general landscaping and a pedestrian swing bridge.

International Development Sites

As lead concept designer RMD was also involved with the review of international sites and feasibility studies. This involved master planning, site analysis and concept design for the following sites:

  • Dubai
  • Abu Dhabi
  • Doha
  • Bahrain
  • Singapore
  • Paris
  • Amsterdam

Currently RMD continues to develop the project for the sites at London, Dubai and Abu Dhabi with projected opening of the first superyacht hotel in 2014.