January 03, 2013



Heatherwick Studio has been commissioned to propose a design for a new river boat as part of ‘Estuaire’, an innovative project that has brought about the construction of major works of art along the banks of the River Loire, in France. The vessel will travel between the city of Nantes and the port town of Saint-Nazaire, reinforcing the connections between these towns and allowing up to 200 passengers to see the artworks from the river.
The boat had to be designed for flexibility since it will be available for general hire, as well as organised art trips, and used as a venue for civic functions and meetings. It also seemed important to allow passengers to look in all directions, instead of facing forward as they do on a bus.
Because the boat itself will reach the sea at the mouth of the Loire, it needed to have sea-faring capacity but, to let it draw up close to the artworks, it needed to be equally at home in the shallow waters at the river’s edge. In response, the boat takes the form of a catamaran, a shallow-draft boat with two hulls, which is stable and agile and travels comfortably at both high and low speed.
We became interested in the idea that the hulls of boats and ships are often beautiful forms but they are hidden from view below the water, while the top part of a boat rarely tells you anything about the form of the hull. Catamarans, for example, are normally treated as a pair of skis with something separate placed on top. Instead, we wondered if we might make a relationship between the top of a boat and its hull and developed the idea of growing the boat from its hull. It is a single continuous element, a closed loop that forms the boat’s two hulls and crosses over itself to create two storeys of open decks and indoor space.
I took this brief Heatherwick Studio' s web page.

Established by Thomas Heatherwick in 1994, Heatherwick Studio is recognized for its work in architecture, urban infrastructure, sculpture, design and strategic thinking. Today, a team of 90 architects, designers and makers, work from a combined studio and workshop in Kings Cross, London.
At the heart of the studio’s work is a profound commitment to finding innovative design solutions, with a dedication to artistic thinking and the latent potential of materials and craftsmanship. This is achieved through a working methodology of collaborative rational inquiry, undertaken in a spirit of curiosity and experimentation.
In the eighteen years of its existence, Heatherwick Studio has worked in many countries, with a wide range of commissioners and in a variety of regulatory environments. Through this experience, the studio has acquired a high level of expertise in the design and realisation of unusual projects, with a particular focus on the large scale.
The studio’s work includes a number of nationally significant projects for the UK, including the award-winning UK Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010, the Olympic Cauldron for the London 2012 Olympic Games, and the New Bus for London.
Thomas is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects; a Senior Research Fellow at the Victoria & Albert Museum; and has been awarded Honorary Doctorates from the Royal College of Art, University of Dundee, University of Brighton, Sheffield Hallam University and University of Manchester.
He has won the Prince Philip Designers Prize, and, in 2004, was the youngest practitioner to be appointed a Royal Designer for Industry. In 2010, Thomas was awarded the RIBA’s Lubetkin Prize and the London Design Medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to design.
You may reach  Heatherwick Studio's others projects from my blog archive UK Pavilion Shangai Expo, Bleigiesses and Extrusion to click below links.