The studio was invited to design a new river boat that would connect the towns of Nantes and Saint-Nazare and be used to visit a growing collection of public art works that punctuated the banks of the River Loire between them. As well as running daily trips to see the works of art, the boat would provide a place for local politicians to hold civic functions and meetings and would also be made available for hire. The most suitable type of vessel seemed to be a catamaran, a boat with two connected hulls, which could be seafaring and navigate the tidal estuary but was also agile enough to bring people up close to the artworks in the shallow waters at the river’s edge. The studio noticed that although the hulls of boats and ships are frequently very beautiful forms, the top of a boat rarely has much of a relationship to the hull. It developed the notion of growing the complete boat from a single hull element that is manipulated to form the boat’s two hulls below the water as well as its accommodation and decks above. The continuous strip is a closed loop which, having formed both hulls, crosses over itself to create two storeys of decks and indoor cabin space. The vessel is to be constructed from aluminium in the shipyards of Saint-Nazaire.


Le Voyage a Nantes





Project Leader

Stuart Wood

Studio team

Eliot Postma, Luke Plumbley, Peter Romvári, Ville Saarikoski


Stirling Design International