News: Alex McDiarmid designed 120m STRADIVARIUS Yacht Concept

May 14, 2013 by ss
View large version of image: Alex McDiarmid designed 120m STRADIVARIUS Yacht Concept

To celebrate its 2nd anniversary today of what continues to be an inspirational, creative and international voyage of discovery for the design studio, Alex McDiarmid return to its concept series of visionary Superyachts.

The past 12 months have attracted international headlines written by leading journalists and authoritative industry subject voices in some of the worlds most prestigious journals and magazines both in print and on line across the yachting, design, style and luxury sectors. Baptised the L’Enfant Terrible of Yacht Design by various press and shortlisted in McDiarmid’s first ever design awards ceremony with the 87m superyacht Iwana at last month’s IY&A Awards 2013, the studio’s reputation for avant garde, futuristic Superyacht concepts and designs in its own inimitable style never fails to draw attention, impress, and open discussion wherever they appear.

As always, inspiration is diverse and of a non nautical philosophy resulting in a concept inspired by stringed musical instruments. Another ‘string to our bow’ so to speak while McDiarmid continue exploring design language, form and style along with its day to day work. The studio’s valued and continued close working relationship with Capt. Adrian McCourt, MD of London based brokers, Watkins Superyachts and Richard Maurer President of US based AquaVenture WaterCrafts – builders of the world’s fastest personal submarine SeaBird, continues to strengthen the studio’s name within the international yachting arena.

Stradivarius – 120m – Music Maestro Please:

Following a recent visit to the inspirational city of Venice and the Museo della Musica Di Venezia / The Venice Music Museum McDiarmid looked at the stringed instruments on display from harps to cellos, double bases, violins and violas produced throughout the ages.

These simple yet elegant instrument forms produce stunning sounds. Violins are like little wooden ships that sale on through time and by any measure a violin is an object of beauty and an object of extravagant curves and lines. They say choosing a violin is like falling in love. McDiarmid began to carefully inspect each element of the instruments design noting it’s technical geometry which has not really changed in over 450 years.

McDiarmid witnessed the workshop construction process of various stringed instruments including the selection, preparation and working of various materials all while listening to Le Quattro Stagioni Di Antonio Vivaldi / The Four Seasons By Antonio Vivaldi. The inspiration flowed as the studio observed and read about instruments by Stradivarius, Amati and Guarneri, the Italian master violin makers who flourished in Cremona, Italy from 1549 to 1740. Look carefully and you will see that these instruments share similar geometry and construction principles with yacht design.

Design Thinking – The Architect of Sound inspires a Design Merchant in Venice:

A Stradivarius or Strad is one of the violins, cellos, and other stringed instruments built by members of the Stradivari (Stradivarius) family, in particular Antonio Stradivari, during the 17th and 18th centuries. According to their reputation, the quality of their sound has defied attempts to explain or equal it. The name “Stradivarius” has become unrivalled and often associated with excellence. To be called “the Stradivari” of any field is to be deemed the finest there is, much like building and owning a Superyacht.

The master violin maker Antonio Stradivari’s instruments were made during his “golden period” from 1700 to 1725 and are considered his finest works. These beautifully hand crafted instruments mixed the highest standards of craftsmanship and machine shop abilities of the times to give the player/owner a very personal product, much like owning a superyacht. Using the finest materials of the day, in particular certain grades of selected and prepared woods, the main bodies of such instruments appear to almost ‘skin’ the instrument. They have a certain technical meets natural organic beauty – timeless beauty – with the tail, bridge, strings, ribs, belly, neck, scroll and bow tip.

The overall side profile of such instruments lend themselves very nicely to the profile of a Superyacht.

Observing the construction of such stringed instruments we noticed the striking similarities to superyacht construction. Evident from the outset was the pure craftsmanship of the very highest quality. Box and modular construction of the instruments main belly and back (the hull, bulwarks and bulkheads of the yacht) and the marriage of the tail piece, neck and scroll (the super structure) The bridge is of course the bridge.

McDiarmid also looked at the various types of bows used to play instruments and learnt about three violin bow heads: transitional, swan-bill head and pike-head. These inspired the reverse bow design that flows up, into, through and over its concept.

The tuning pegs on the neck of such instruments inspired anchor lockers, mooring guides and window graphics while the neck/hand area inspires a deep set hull window for a sensational view of the water whilst on board.

The f-holes (sound holes) provide atrium like glazing inspiration while a huge, main deck curved ‘glazed wall’ aft allows natural day light in.

In case you were wondering, a violin has excellent sea keeping qualities, floating very well if placed in water. Could yacht building learn anything from violin making in terms of evolution or revolution? Time will tell.

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