Marine Interiors 2019: Designers on Board
Ship designers and architects are experts at merging design and safety on board cruise ships. The considerations that make the difference will be on top of the agenda of the Marine Interiors specialist panel discussions during the Seatrade Europe conference program.
To make sure that cruise passengers will feel comfortable in every respect, designers and architects leave nothing to chance when designing ship interiors. Based on the shipowner’s suggestions they develop restaurants, bars, suites and spas down to the tiniest detail. But when it comes to implementing their concepts, the designers always depend on suppliers executing their plans precisely so everything will fit seamlessly. At the Marine Interiors Cruise & Ferry Global Expo, powered by SMM, which will take place from 11 to 13 September 2019 in parallel with Seatrade Europe – Cruise and River Cruise Convention at the Hamburg Messe fair complex, designers can find top-ranking suppliers. From light installations to chinaware, through to custom-manufactured coffee tables, the exhibitors at the new Marine Interiors fair cover the entire value chain.
Fancy and safe
Finding competent project partners is one thing; complying with strict safety regulations another. The art of implementing regulatory requirements on board a cruise ship in an aesthetically pleasing way will be the subject of a panel discussion titled “How to design to comply” at Marine Interiors, which will take place as part of the Seatrade Europe conference program. The panel will be moderated by David McCarthy, Marine Projects & Communications Director at AD Associates. Mr McCarthy has nearly 25 years of professional experience in hospitality, cruise operations, ship newbuilding and renovation. His advice to future ship designers: "Go and experience things, touch the materials, and take in the ambience with all your senses. This was a great piece of advice I received during my early career at sea."
The notion that safety always comes first even for designers of cruise ships is more than familiar to Siegfried Schindler and Kai Bunge, the founders and Managing Directors of Partner Ship Design. "The basics for a safe ship are created during the early concept development stage. The first step is to subdivide the ship into fire zones and watertight partitions. Planning the escape routes and the lifeboat positions is the second step, material selection the third," says Schindler. Appropriate safety certificates must be provided for all materials used on a ship: They are subject to the so-called SOLAS requirements (“Safety of Life at Sea”) issued by IMO, the International Maritime Organization. The main objective is to minimize the use of readily flammable materials. For example, laminate is preferable to solid wood. The same safety-first approach applies to on-board furniture: Rounded edges and corners on cabinets, beds et cetera help reduce injury hazards at high sea, explains Bunge. In his contribution to the conference program the successful designer will discuss further important considerations.
Unique and classy
Despite all the strict regulations and limitations of creative freedom, conference participants attending the second Marine Interiors panel discussion “How design helps to convey, define or create brand identity” will learn how brand values can be incorporated into design concepts to help create a unique identity for each cruise brand. Tal Danai, founder and CEO of the art consulting and curating agency ARTLink.Inc, is someone who knows about the effects of art on this unique identity. "At the moment we are curating collections for five large cruise ships as well as five luxury hotels, and we are developing and operating galleries on board 14 ships," says Danai. He will explain to conference participants why the impact of art goes far beyond simple decoration, and why cruise ships are a perfect environment for presenting art.
From a Cuban-inspired flair or the sophisticated atmosphere of a lounge to a nature-loving approach that transcends into every design detail, it is the target audience that determines the ambience. For example, GUI Cruises places great emphasis on design quality, generous spaces, and tranquillity. Stark color contrasts are a no-no; the individual spaces on board are always decorated using one particular family of colors. "In the case of the new 'Mein Schiff 2’, we are relying even more on well-known designers. This ship will complete a journey we have begun on other newbuilds: Its interior decoration will offer both, broad variety, and at the same time great harmony," says Wybcke Meier, CEO of TUI Cruises. Star designer Patricia Urquiola is once again on board in this project. A native of Spain, she had already designed the suites of the new “Mein Schiff 1”. For Urquiola working in this unfamiliar environment has been a special treat: "I love being close to the sea. I had great fun elaborating the unique spirit of this place on board a cruise ship."
In the case of the expedition cruise ship "Hanseatic Nature” by Hapag-Llloyd Cruises which put to sea recently, Christian Klein and Johannes Jensen of Oceanarchitects were in charge of interior design. Their concept revolves around nature: For example, the structure of the flooring imitates the irregular shapes of ice floes. Some of the wallpapering feels like fish skin; and the water flows from faucets resembling corals.
Visitors of the Marine Interiors trade fair will be able to learn from exhibitors how ideas such as these can be implemented. Competent experts will include the fittings specialists from Franke Aquarotter, the hospitality equipment consultants from Hagola, and the RP Technik safety experts. Marine Interiors will be held in parallel with the 10th Seatrade Europe – Cruise and River Cruise Convention. More than 7500 participants are expected to attend both events. Visitors interested in attending some of the Marine Interiors discussion panels may reserve an early-bird ticket up until June 28th.