Chulhun Park on Designing the World’s Largest Valkyrie

By Rose-Hannah Lishman

As former Senior Exterior Designer at Palmer Johnson Yachts, Chulhun Park has plenty of experience creating a striking silhouette. Now Chief Designer at Latitude Yachts, his futuristic thinking hasn’t slowed. Showcasing his latest 229m (!) concept Valkyrie, we spoke to the designer about his gigantic vision which combines the knowledge of a world-leading shipyard and innovation of Latitude to create a superyacht for the public, that’s equally lucrative for the owner.

Q. What was your initial inspiration for the Valkyrie Project?
A. Having seen too many conventional white yachts which were vertically stacked like wedding cakes, I was determined to design a visually unique yacht which would stand out from a fleet. A postmodern architecture movement known as ‘Deconstructivism’ inspired me to come up with the notion for this yacht. I was interested in manipulating a structure’s surface to create non-rectilinear shapes, which appear to distort and dislocate elements of shape.

Fast developing technology can make this complex surface design applicable very soon. I want her to be considered as a piece of floating art or statue which could harmonise with nature. Her curvy and fluidic exterior shape will reflect sunlight and even moonlight, showing off her shape especially by sunset.

When people are on board, they will be surprised by nature-inspired sculptural form. Furthermore, big glass mainly placed in public space would help to enjoy and experience life on the water fully.

Q. This vision in unique in the sense that it's a project for the public; where did this idea stem from?
A. The size of yachts has been growing competitively in the last 20 years and the world largest private yacht is 180m Azzam. Most people in the industry think there will not be a private yacht over 200m.

So, I wondered ‘What would possibly cause someone to build a yacht over 200m?’ The result was Valkyrie; the floating entertainment hub. She allows the public to enjoy a floating space and the owner can make profit from it. Onboard the yacht, a casino, theatre, gallery and a convention hall (where luxury brand events can advertise) will meet the diverse needs of the public. The public may access the space by buying day tickets or while the yacht moves to another location.

Q. The concept is built around a trimaran hull - why is this?
A. Valkyrie is a groundbreaking yacht from the point of design as well as engineering. Palmer Johnson was in charge of the engineering process to implement the Valkyrie project.

There are several types of trimaran hull in the industry, the hull technology used for Valkyrie is specially designed for Palmer Johnson’s Super Sport Series which launched in September, 2012 at the Monaco Yacht Show. The shipyard launched their first yacht with this technology (48m Khalilah) in 2015.

The technology challenges the usual monohull design and brings to light a trimaran hull which lessens the drag while cruising at high speeds and with greater stability. It gives 50% more fuel efficiency and promises a considerable increase of 25-30% in exterior and interior areas of the yacht.

We also applied the carbon construction technology used on Khalilah. This technology reduces 30% of the weight of the yacht and allows less mullions which gives a better view from inside.   

Q. If it comes into fruition, it will be the largest in the world! Have you had any interest yet?
A. It's just a design phase now, but I am confident it could become reality as I have received several requests!

"She allows the public to enjoy a floating space and the owner can make profit from it. Onboard the yacht, a casino, theatre, gallery and a convention hall (where luxury brand events can advertise) will meet the diverse needs of the public. The public may access the space by buying day tickets or while the yacht moves to another location."

Chulhun Park - Chief Designer, Latitude Yachts

"She allows the public to enjoy a floating space and the owner can make profit from it. Onboard the yacht, a casino, theatre, gallery and a convention hall (where luxury brand events can advertise) will meet the diverse needs of the public. The public may access the space by buying day tickets or while the yacht moves to another location."

Chulhun Park - Chief Designer, Latitude Yachts
By Rose-Hannah Lishman
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