Superyacht Design – PRIONA


In SuperyachtDesign Q8, we featured a steam-bent wooden chair called SLAT by Scott Henderson, an American product designer based in New York. Known for his consumer products in the areas of housewares, electronics, furniture and his own line of museum store gift objects, known as MINT, Henderson has ventured into the world of superyacht design. Here the designer tells SYD about his first ever yacht concept, the 70-metre Priona.

The Priona derives its name from Prionace glauca, also known as the blue shark, and is a gestural study of the exterior form of a superyacht. The blue shark is one of the fastest and most efficient creatures in the ocean, achieving speeds in excess of 43mph. Its sleek and powerful form communicates minimalism and extreme aquatic speed—seamless with the ocean after millennia of evolution. These attributes seemed to be perfect departure points for the concept.

The form of the design is uni-body. The hull emanates from the bow and travels aft using a single surface, with no breaks between the form elements of the composition. Both the aft of the upper deck structure and the sides of the hull are derived from the same common surface, which gives the vessel a clean appearance—its visual statement absorbable at a glance. Rather than break up the two dominant formal elements (the hull and the living spaces that rest above the deck line), the concept avoids tasking the viewer with too much visual information, making the composition less instantly iconic.

Inspired by the blue shark’s powerful gills, the sides of Priona are sliced in continuous lines that form the vessel’s main decks and windows. This in turn makes it appear that the yacht is taking in vast quantities of oxygen through these integrated vents.

The Priona features an upper sundeck that is not disrupted by the communications/navigation tower, as the Priona’s tower cantilevers over the space without contacting the area of use. The design also features two swimming pools—forward and aft, and a retractable swim deck that can store all manner of water toys and two Jet-skis.

The top surface of the design is created by a continuous line that wraps the tip of the bow and circles up and around the leading edge of the upper sundeck to the rear. Within this crisp, bold line, the top surface of the vessel exists as one continuous slope, traversable via a grand staircase that completely warps the entire perimeter. The use of the grand staircase evokes elegance and nautical charm, which when juxtaposed against the ultra contemporary feel of Priona, a powerful ‘twist’ captures the imagination, grounding the design by evoking the human element. When the mere glance at an object immediately reveals its intended human interaction, an emotional connection to the object is made, transcending utility.


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