Vitruvius Yachts

Flagship – Fit for a King


Vitruvius Yachts worked together with Zaha Hadid and Ocea UK to submit a design of a flagship for the UK. Despite not being built as planned, we would like to show the design which made us finalists in the process.

The first vessel of its kind, showcased the UK design, Craftsmanship and Engineering at its very best. All design contributors were keen to capture the essence of UK heritage and embrace a forward-thinking and innovative approach to the design of the flagship with sustainability at the core. Ultimately, we designed a flagship “fit for a king”.



Built out of recycled aluminum and powered by Biofuel

The volume and weight of the vessel are designed to be an absolute minimum, still achieving optimum balance of capability over volume. The length at the waterline, 125m, is the same as the length of the Flagship, due to the vertical bow. The bow and lightweight aluminum material used for the build contribute to the efficiency through the water.

The technical elements of Team FestivAl’s national flagship project centre on sound naval architecture and clever superstructure design. The result is a 125-metre vessel that is both highly efficient in the water – with 30 percent less hydrodynamic drag than a conventional steel ship – and also in the air, with a drag coefficient of just 0.28 which is less than most cars.

To design a vessel – a flagship – that will become a benchmark in sustainability as well as demonstrating British excellence and heritage for current and future generations, while also being a symbol of inclusion and diversity, was an enormous challenge that kept me awake at night. The nature and intensity of the project kept me focused but also filled me with pride, not just in the design process itself but for what the flagship stands for.”

Philippe Briand

The best of British design and craftsmanship

Both the exterior and interior designs have been created to portray national identity and showcase the very best of British design and craftsmanship. The sleek exterior profile includes a distinctive central slice through the superstructure that takes the form of a hoop of glass, flooding the interior with light and providing a key design element that, combined with a distinct LED-lit style line in the profile, hints at the ribbon pattern in the Union flag. This is reinforced in the design when viewed from above.

Flexibility and inclusion

Central to the vessel’s design is accessibility for all across all decks and areas. The wraparound glass of the atrium provides not only a great sense of light and space but also delivers plenty of natural light for the visually impaired. Access routes throughout the vessel have been considered with people of all ages and all levels of ability or disability in mind.

“The flagship collaboration was an incredible opportunity to act as an architect realising the design of a project that was hugely complex, because it aims to represent not the tastes of one person but the essence of an entire nation. That is actually way more difficult than designing for even the most demanding individual!”

Philippe Briand
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