‘Poetic and Useful’: Lurssen's €13m Shipyard Development
‘Unique’, ‘bespoke’ and ‘elegant’ are all words that resonate through the design sector of the superyacht industry. They are words that you would expect to associate with innovative yacht designs of the future, and perhaps less so with the buildings they were constructed in. That was until German shipbuilding giant, Lurssen, revealed plans for Europe’s largest covered floating dock, which has been described as “poetic”.
Lurssen is to reconstruct the 287m Blohm+Voss Dock 10 at its Hamburg shipyard, installing a spectacular yet pragmatic roof in a 13-million-euro investment. The project will not only turn the dock into a stunning architectural feat, but significantly enhance their Hamburg capabilities.
The sophisticated design was the work of German architect Werner Sobek, who has penned an intricate structure that will stand beautifully in the landscape of Hamburg harbour. The roof will provide a unique opportunity for owners to proudly showcase their yachts within the floating dock thanks to the translucent membrane of the exterior façade. The stretched and curved panels on the framework will create folds of reflection and shadow, providing an accent along the length of the dock to enhance the view of yacht. However, it isn’t all about show. As one of the world’s most revered builders of Top100 superyachts, many of Lurssen’s projects are well-guarded and confidential, as such the membrane has also been fitted with a custom-made drape which can instead provide complete privacy on the dock.
There is, of course, an important practical reasoning behind the multi-million-euro investment. As Dr Klaus Borgschulte, Chairman of the Supervisory Board for Blohm+Voss, explains: “The renovation enables us to significantly expand the range of repairs and refit services for existing and potential customers of yachts, naval and cruise ships. It also further increases the appeal of the location, especially for our yacht customers. In addition, we will significantly improve the working conditions for our employees and make ourselves less dependent on the weather. Thanks to the new roof, we will be able to also significantly reduce noise emissions and energy consumption.”
Walter Sobek explained his thoughts on creating a design that had to fuse the practical concerns of a construction environment with his artistic expression. “The textile cover is poetic and useful at the same time,” commented Sobek. “It protects people and objects from the rigours of the weather without disturbing the visual relationships between inside and outside. Dock 10 will be a significant complement to Hamburg’s beautiful cityscape.”
Following the presentation of the new designs on the 29th January, the project is scheduled to begin construction midway through this year. The expected construction time is six months, but with both the floating dock and vessel under-construction being relocated to Lurssen’s Bremen shipyard, it will be until 2022 that the dock is reopened in Hamburg. Since acquiring Blohm+Voss in 2016, Lurssen has spent a figure of around 20 million euros in modernising the Hamburg shipyard, and when completed this latest development will see that rise to over 33 million. A significant investment to safeguard its position as an industry leader, we can only expect that the new dock will help Lurssen continue to deliver some of the world's most exciting projects, like the recently launched 87m Hawaii.
"The textile cover is poetic and useful at the same time... Dock 10 will be a significant complement to Hamburg’s beautiful cityscape. "