Feadship’s pioneering use of glass on board Como (31 March 2014)

The recent launch of the 46.22-metre Feadship Como again drew attention to Feadship’s pioneering use of glass. The client requested unprecedentedly large windows in the hull and a wealth of glass in her superstructure. Like every custom project at Feadship, Como’s owner’s requirements were met in style. And following on from other recent launches that have highlighted the art of glass such as Hampshire II, Musashi and Venus, thoughts now turn to the next logical – but seriously complex – innovation, namely using glass structures to also support structural loads from the decks above.
The advance of technology in the use of glass is radically changing the look of superyachts in the same way that it transformed land-based architecture. Today glass determines the look of most buildings, and its use on large yachts has been constantly on the rise over the decades. In 1960 the average proportion of glass within yacht silhouettes was around seven percent, a figure which had doubled by 1990 as windows became larger, were placed closer to each other, and played a far more prominent role in styling.
Feadship has always sought innovative ways to use materials and many custom builds over the decades have pushed the window in bathing interiors with natural light. Current developments can be traced to the first Future Feadship Concept design in 2006 called X-stream. “We received an enthusiastic response to our idea of offering a fully glazed superstructure and a glass observation area in the bow,” says Bram Jongepier, manager of knowledge development at Feadship. “This led to a research programme focused on the use of very large glass panels, the deployment of glass for strength, and the influence that glass has on interior comfort levels.”
Glass panes have a major impact on the routing of ducting, piping and cables. A layout concept was developed with a structural core containing stairs, ducting and technical spaces similar to buildings. This was first used in the 88-metre Feadship Mushashi in 2010, where the structural elements around the luxury interior spaces were kept to a minimum and the proportion of glass to metal in her exterior profile is over 20 percent.


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