Designing for Luxury in Confined Spaces

One interesting design challenge on a multi-million dollar yacht is creating living spaces worthy of buyer’s investment. Within a limited and well-defined space, owners and their guests expect high-quality materials, aesthetically appealing lines, and roominess.

Engineers and designers at CNB Yachts know this; they respond by applying both fundamental and creative design and principles to their work. In fact, the Bordeaux-based company has done this so well, it’s built a reputation world wide as one of the finest luxury yacht builders.

CNB’s design software? PTC Creo and PTC Windchill PDMLink.

“Every inch in the cabin is precious, and we work hard to maximize the living space,” says Wilfried Cadiou, CAD/PLM manager at CNB. “With PTC Creo, we can design the whole yacht in 3D, including interior components such as wooden and metal elements, as well as plumbing, cabling, and mechanical systems. Before we build anything, we optimize the space in 3D, knowing everything will fit. Every single detail is modeled in 3D in PTC Creo, and kept up-to-date as the design evolves with PTC Windchill. With no physical prototyping of the yacht, the 3D model of the yacht must align exactly with the client’s wishes – there’s no room for misunderstanding or error.”

PTC Creo also helps designers create a feeling of luxury and space, for example by focusing on reflectance. “We know that adding light, reflective, or glossy surfaces help make cabins feel more spacious,” says Sébastien Lucas, mechanical engineer at CNB.

Here are some of the principles the team applies using PTC Creo, all without risk to the performance, reliability, and safety of the final yacht:

  • Light. Large rectangular portholes and retracting glass skylights flood internal spaces with natural light, creating an airy atmosphere.
  • More light. High-quality materials and highly reflective surfaces like lacquered overheads aid in reflecting light throughout the interior.
  • Headroom. To avoid creating a feeling of confinement, all parts of the interior are designed with room to stand and stretch.
  • Clean lines. Concealed light panels help maintain the atmosphere of simplicity.
  • “Floating” furniture. Beds and dressers appear to hover a short distance from the floor to open up floor space.
  • ‘Invisibility’. All the technologies that go into luxury boats today are made ‘invisible’, for example, by embedding them in the yacht’s furniture. This results in the interior feeling open and simple.

Designers use PTC Creo’s mechanism and simulation capabilities to help with these and numerous other interior features. As a result, CNB’s staterooms and cabins rival the classiest of living rooms and hotel rooms with tastefully designed, handsomely crafted furnishings customized to the precise needs and expectations of the client. And, with  PTC Creo’s advanced realistic rendering capabilities, the yacht’s interior design can be fully visualized and approved, and can be  used by marketing, sales, etc.

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