Eckersley O'Callaghan wins at the 2020 Boat International Design and Innovation Awards



Eckersley O’Callaghan has won Innovation of the Year at the 2020 Boat International Design and Innovation Awards for our design of the complex, doubly curved glass panels on Superyacht Syzygy 818.

The award was won in collaboration with renowned designer Jarkko Jämsén and builder Feadship.

The all-glass envelope was an integral part of the ship, allowing the outdoor environment to be brought into intimate contact with the interior at all times. The concept of structural glass was then taken a step further by curving the glass to control and slow the movement of reflection of the water across its surface.

To design the glass, Eckersley O’Callaghan created a bespoke script to describe the complex, precise geometrical form for each of the different panels.

To cope with the high wave loads, while maximising the transparency, the up to 3m wide, 2.70 m high, 4.5mm thick panels are made up of 4 plies of 6mm to 10mm thick low iron glass. Insulating the panels would have compromised the transparency by introducing a black frame around each panel to retain the insulating gas between the glass plies.

Instead, to minimise the solar gain internally, we designed the panels to have a light reflective coating pared with a neutral grey interlayer. Using this combination of coating and interlayer for solar control ensured that the overall transparency and neutrality of the glass was optimised.

As the glass is coated while flat, we worked closely with Feadship to ensure the shaping of the panels into their doubly curved form was carried out under strictly controlled conditions to avoid cracking of the coating.

This delicate balance of strength and sunlight protection was complicated by the fact that the coated glass is less strong than other glasses   as it cannot be strengthened using chemically tempering. The structural design of the full glass laminate therefore had to be precisely engineered to ensure the required strength of each individual ply of glass was assessed.

All glass is part of the watertight integrity of the yacht, so each panel has been meticulously examined by Lloyds Shipping Register. The panels are installed coupled to each other, with connections to the ceiling and floor constructed so that the boat flexes around the glass.