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Maritimo 2019 HEADER

Oceanco NXT

by Oceanco 24 Oct 07:07 PDT
NXT © Oceanco Team

At the dawn of a new decade, Oceanco makes a commitment to the future through a pioneering collaborative initiative, Oceanco NXT.

Oceanco NXT brings together an inspiring collaboration of experts to answer the future demands by reflecting across industries of the new, younger demographic landscape, with the ultimate goal of zero impact on the environment.

Oceanco NXT reflects on innovation and sustainability in an authentic and meaningful way that will transform how we spend time on superyachts.

It starts with a question
To push boundaries and make progress in the superyacht industry, only bold questions can offer new answers

In the near future, Owners may have a different vision of how they want to experience the world through yachting and will bring along new ideologies and approaches. How is this shift being reflected in today's designs and build methods and how can the industry better understand Owners' evolving needs?

The answer requires bold thinking and a willingness to cooperate with similarly visionary colleagues on a global scale, both from within and outside the yachting industry. Oceanco's major creative undertaking for 2020 looks beyond superficial design concepts and delves deeper into a progressive, holistic approach to a collaborative future of yacht building, Ownership and experiences; it is called NXT.

For many years, Oceanco has been setting the benchmark in terms of challenging the paradigm through its boundary-pushing yachts. Now it intends to lead the way with this thought provoking approach to the future of yachting.

Oceanco NXT from BuiltbyOceanco on Vimeo.

The future is zero
In the pursuit of authentic innovation, meaningful sustainability can be achieved

Although the exterior and interior styling of superyachts has progressed significantly over time, we still witness similar technical formats and standards that are deeply rooted in general proportions, form and gross tonnage. These standards have been so far developed and fine-tuned over time that they are hardly being challenged anymore, and the result is a stagnation in innovation.

Over recent years, attempts to jump on a "sustainable" bandwagon have led to the term becoming overused, detracting from its impact and value. Small steps to incrementally reduce environmental impact are somewhat positive but tougher, fundamental questions must be asked in order to make progress in any meaningful way.

The two central pillars of Oceanco's NXT approach are innovation and sustainability, with a focus on finding meaningful innovations to inform every decision in building an authentically sustainable superyacht, and an ultimate goal of zero impact on the environment.

The future is now
Oceanco sets the benchmark in building next generation superyachts

The NXT approach delves deeper and broader than simply reducing the burning of fossil fuels to propel and operate the yacht. It considers how yacht Owners may want to experience life on the water in the future, in the most sustainable, enjoyable and rewarding ways possible.

It takes a daring, visionary yacht builder alongside nonconformist Owners to forge such new pathways in the industry. Oceanco has been challenging the status quo since its inception - setting the benchmark in terms of establishing trends. In 2013 Oceanco completed the world's first Passenger Yacht Code vessel, Equanimity; and in 2016 it delivered 86m Aquijo, the world's largest ketch.

In 2017, Oceanco delivered 110m Jubilee, the largest yacht built in the Netherlands; and recently it delivered 106.7m Black Pearl, the world's largest and most ecological Dynarig sailing yacht. Challenges and solutions from these superyachts gave rise to Oceanco's ground-breaking LIFE platform, debuted onboard the 109m Bravo Eugenia, which features extended length while using an optimized hybrid propulsion system to improve fuel efficiency and minimize space allocated to technical equipment.

The physical representation of NXT has been conceived by world-renowned designer Giles Taylor, Global Vice President of Design at FAW Group, whose vision for the future of yachting has been sculpted in white onyx and is captivatingly illuminated from within. This will be complemented by the expertise brought by TANK, an architecture and interior design studio that is celebrated for its contemporary approach to creating beautiful, inspiring and functional living spaces.

Technical design and technology input for the Oceanco NXT ideology is provided by Lateral Naval Architects, a longstanding partner of Oceanco with a respected portfolio of projects to its name. A further and broad spectrum of industry expertise is being brought into NXT through Oceanco Co-Maker Unlimited, a collective collaboration strategy to optimize the way yachts are designed and built. Each of these stakeholders has a crucial role to play in upholding the Oceanco NXT promise to strive for meaningful innovation in how we create yachts that meet the needs of future Owners.

Giles Taylor: Design that goes deeper
Challenging the status quo calls for expertise from outside yachting to share new perspectives across standards, across borders, across industries

The Global Vice President of Design at FAW Group, Giles Taylor is perhaps best known in the luxury world as the person who took Rolls-Royce in a new direction with his elegant designs for Phantom and Cullinan, including the recent mould-breaking all new Ghost. He develops a holistic approach to design, digging deeper into how future consumers will engage all their senses in the objects he creates. His current work at FAW Group involves developing a new range of luxury cars with innovative and sustainable values for the next generation of global luxury customer.

Taylor's aim was to share insight that would resonate with a new generation of Owners by shedding our preconceptions of what constitutes a superyacht, and instead understanding how future Owners' value sets will dictate the way they want to live on board. The average age of superyacht Owners is likely to decrease compared to the last 20 years, with more emphasis on closely valued friendship circles beyond family, changing criteria for experiential escapism, and even the blurring of lines between "leisure" and "work" time.

To reflect this, Taylor believes future superyachts will need to be very different from what they are now, with fewer cabins and rooms allocated to specific activities. Guests should be able to enjoy the ocean in an open way, with features such as atriums and open-plan spaces rather than being cooped up in multiple smaller rooms.

"There is a future wave of customers coming who can afford superyachts but the current, tired equation connecting length, deck space and interior volume that has been used ad nauseam no longer fits with how they want to live their lives," he explains. "They don't want to cram in multiple lounges and cabins; they want to celebrate form and open space, with a more intimate experience shared among fewer close friends. Although practicality is important, a yacht's design should connect with those who experience it on a deeper level. It should speak to you like a beautifully designed car or a transportive piece of music."

Taylor asserts that attitude changes to displaying wealth among the most affluent will mean that Owners prefer the discretion of staying at anchor rather than heading to a port to show off their superyacht; and the yacht's will become more important so that it is an element of beauty to enjoy from afar as well as on board.

"The challenge designers face is to imagine yachts as ocean-borne spaces that will attract environmentally aware millennials who believe that the ocean serves as a mirror to their green principles and an inspiration to be part of a future that is more in tune with a sustainable human-nature existence," Taylor adds.

In creating the design, Taylor drew inspiration from the classic 19th Century Americas Cup sailing yachts, with their long, sweeping lines, and references 1970s yacht designs from Jon Bannenberg which presented those on board with uninterrupted views forward and aft along uncluttered decks. From the perspective of artistic beauty, the profiles should be elegant and low, he adds, rather than looking to maximize every possible cubic meter of interior space.

About the Oceanco NXT sculpture

Giles Taylor purposely chose white onyx for the physical representation of the Oceanco NXT sculpture because of its close connection to the sea. Unlike land-sourced marbles, white onyx originates from underwater and hence has a deeper connection to life at sea than other precious stones; it is also believed to have unique energy properties connected to moving forwards, stability and progress. The sculpture is crafted from repurposed white onyx, to reflect Oceanco's commitment to the environment, the circular economy and minimizing waste where possible.

Tank: A new take on modern luxury
New luxury is all about a lighter way of life that rejects opulence and complexity, and embraces multifunctional spaces. It is not about owning more, it is about needing less

TANK is respected for its unconventional approach to conventional spaces, taking ambitious clients to new heights in design; the studio prides itself on an approach that rethinks "living" to evoke perfection, balance and pure joy. It redefines luxury to create a place that makes you happy and proud in a meaningful way, as well as connected and aware of the surroundings, wherever you go.

According to Tommy Kleerekoper, Founding Partner and Director at the Dutch studio, luxury is not about owning more, it is about needing less: "Today, the definition of 'luxury living' is a moving target, as our clients have an ever-changing global lifestyle. In yachting, the industry has been holding onto an old view of luxury, with an abundance of materialization and complexity 'on steroids'. The new generation shrugs their shoulders at this approach and prefers a 'lighter' way of life, where status lies less in physical products but instead is found in access to things like freedom of use, freedom for the eye and freedom for the mind. If you have too many rooms, too many decks and too much opulence, it becomes a burden."

For NXT, TANK will approach yacht living from a holistic point of view, ensuring social dynamics as well as privacy are always considered, to allow the space to connect to your mood any time of day. Describing it as being similar to a poolside loft, the space needs to be approached from both a residential and hospitality point of view so that it is dynamic, fun and feels like home.

"The way we live has to change with modern life; it needs to be adaptive and exciting. Dedicated spaces are mostly empty - and hopelessly boring. Multifunctional spaces are ready for anything. A beautiful dining room might provide a great meal but if you dine in the space we have in mind, anything could happen; your fabulous dinner might end up in the pool or dancing around the bar. Yacht design is usually approached in a practical way, like a house or a hotel on water where an efficient shape to reduce friction is important. But from a conceptual perspective, we would like to see the yacht as being part of its surroundings, not just in them, and the interior should always connect to this," adds Kleerekoper.

The studio has a similar outlook on interior design to Taylor, concurring that a good floorplan is crucial to providing light, space and flow. The TANK team looks for ways to connect different spaces and even different floors by creating "beautiful voids", minimizing corridors and circulation space to allow one room to flow into the next. Materials should be used in their purest form, wherever possible, to allow them to patina well and become even more beautiful over time.

TANK brings to the table a proven track record in the design of ecological projects. It collaborated in creating one of the first sustainable hotels in Europe at a time when the concept of "green" interior design was not yet defined, and so the TANK team had to pioneer much of the research and understanding in this field. And since that time, the studio has seen a steady growth in demand for sustainable luxury spaces from developers and other clients.

"We are thrilled to be working on NXT with Oceanco and the other Co-makers. Oceanco dares to challenge itself as well as its partners, which is the best approach for progress and innovation, as new outcomes can only be achieved by asking new questions," concludes Kleerekoper.

Lateral: A strategy for progress
Bucking the trend for stagnation and risk aversion in developing superyacht technology

Lateral was a key partner in the genesis of Oceanco's LIFE design, first put into practice with 109m motoryacht Bravo Eugenia, which has 30 per cent reduction in fuel consumption and 100 square meters of extra luxury space compared to other yachts of its length. The naval architecture firm recently revealed its Futurology framework for innovating technology and engineering on yachts, focused on a future with zero carbon and zero emissions that is driven by the desire for greater sustainability in all areas of our lives. Three major principles underpin this objective: technical innovation, challenging design and operational paradigms, and the search for alternative fuels and energy sources. The Futurology framework is perfectly aligned with the Oceanco NXT approach, and will play a key part in achieving Oceanco's goals in innovation and sustainability.

James Roy, Managing Director of Lateral, explains why a focus on new fuel sources will move the needle on sustainability efforts faster than anything else: "All three principles are important on our journey towards the end goal of 'zero' but advances in alternative fuels and energy sources will have the greatest impact on getting us there. In our view, the future of yachting will be powered by a hydrogen-based fuel system produced from renewable energy sources, and Lateral is committed to this vision for the future. Although we have the capability to make hydrogen-based fuels, the storage and supply infrastructure systems need more work. We see the key stepping stone between today's fossilfuel propulsion and the target of hydrogen propulsion being an electric hybrid model, rather than diesel electric. Think of it as the 'VHS-versus-Betamax' moment in yacht propulsion, and we are backing electric hybrid."

Considering how to be compelling to "future generations" of yacht Owners, Roy emphasizes that there is no singular watershed moment when we enter "the future" but that it happens gradually every day, even today, and is driven by those who want to see change and innovation.

"We need to have an authentic approach to sustainability, not just gimmicks and buzzwords," adds Roy. "It starts on day one, and it is in the hands of everyone from the Owners to the builders to the subcontractors of the superyacht.

It is what drove our achievements in LIFE, and it is what will help us set new benchmarks and get closer to 'target zero' through the Oceanco NXT approach.

How many lounging areas or cabins does a particular superyacht really need? How will the Owner want to live on board? And how will this impact the technical requirements? By returning to the fundamental questions of what an Owner wants and needs, we can be far more sustainable."

The NXT co-makers: Leading the change
Only together can we set the future benchmarks for the entire industry and co-create the next generation of superyachts

Providing Owners with authentic innovation and sustainability requires a yacht builder to take a holistic approach to its projects, from the very first design sketches to the final delivery of the superyacht and beyond. Although attempts have historically been made to "futureproof" a yacht, many "advanced" projects are outdated before steel has even been cut; this is commonly due to lack of early input from expert subcontractors across the spectrum of yacht building. By working with a range of the best partners sooner on a project - from the most advanced engineers and the most ground-breaking designers to the most innovative tech companies and the most sustainable material providers - optimal results for sustainability, innovation and efficiency can be achieved.

This approach is central to the Oceanco NXT undertaking, and has been formalized with the creation of the Oceanco Co-maker Unlimited group, a cohort of 13 strategic subcontractor partners that have a shared vision, mission, goals and values. Alignment of expertise and collaboration between the stakeholders on all aspects of yacht building results in unlimited improvement, reduced risk and higher performance throughout the entire value chain. Put simply, Oceanco's progressive and collaborative NXT approach to building yachts results in the most exciting, innovative and sustainable yachts possible.

"Oceanco NXT represents our commitment as a builder of the most advanced and inspiring yachts in the world. We fundamentally believe that the best way to set new benchmarks is to work with the very best collaborators from a wide array of industries - not just yachting. In creating Oceanco NXT, we have discovered that our partners share a common ambition to innovate and forge a sustainable pathway for tomorrow's yachts. We are invested in an outcome where the future is zero. From Giles Taylor's understanding of future Owners' lifestyle needs and Lateral's technical innovations towards achieving zero emissions to TANK's contemporary vision for the use of our living spaces and Oceanco's collaboration with Co-makers, we share one unified goal: to create the most exciting yachts we can for future generations. Through Oceanco NXT, tomorrow can start today," comments Marcel Onkenhout, CEO of Oceanco.

For more information visit oceanconxt.com.

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