Oneiric is a new catamaran concept from Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA). Developed in collaboration with the Italian superyacht builder Rossinavi, the 44m aluminium-hulled Oneiric Catamaran has been created to showcase the company’s commitment to green technology, with large areas of solar panelling to feed power back into the batteries set beneath the expansive decks. 

Oneiric Catamaran by Zaha Hadid Architects
The Oneiric features an expansive rear swim platform with a Jacuzzi

Yacht design has given ZHA free reign to indulge in the fluid, dynamic surfaces and forms that characterise the studio’s architecture, informed in turn by Zaha Hadid’s very sculptural approach to designing objects at every scale. At the same time, the yacht’s ability to harness renewable energy minimises the impact the vessel has on the marine environment.

Full electric cruising is possible 100 per cent of the time when you’re pottering between islands; for longer voyages, Rossinavi estimates you’d only need to run the motor for 30 per cent of the time, saving around 40 tonnes of C02 for a typical trans-Atlantic crossing. 

Oneiric Catamaran by Zaha Hadid Architects
Solar panels on the upper decks are joined by retractable awnings shielding the terraces

Those solar panels can’t do all the work, of course, and the catamaran’s batteries are designed to be charged when moored.

Alternatively, the boat can be used as a mobile power source; hook it up to your remote island retreat and it’ll provide enough juice for heat and light. 

deck of electric catamaran
The bridge also houses an alfresco dining area

Inside, the Oneiric has space for ten passengers and seven crew, with an owners’ cabin and four guest cabins.

As with all catamarans, the Oneiric makes the most of the expanded deck space, even though the twin hulls are shaped and placed for the best combination of balance, stability and hydrodynamic efficiency. 

Oneiric interior
The Oneiric’s main saloon, with ‘Z-Play II’ by Zaha Hadid Design as a coffee table for visualisation purposes

One other key design element is the use of reflectivity, with glossy curved walls, surfaces and windows helping animate the yacht amongst the reflections of the constantly changing waves.

This helps ‘blur the boundaries’ between ship and the sea, with walls and ceilings that bend away from the horizontal to remove any visible barriers between the decks and the ocean. 

Oneiric Catamaran by Zaha Hadid Architects
Oneiric master cabin, shown with the Ultrastellar chair and table by Zaha Hadid Design for David Gill Galleries for visualisation purposes

There’s ample lounging space on the decks and inside, with an outdoor lounge and dining space joined by the full-beam main saloon. The owner’s suite also provides access to the large front deck, while an open-plan approach sets the Oneiric apart from conventional yacht design, typified by an array of small cabins and corridors.

Great swathes of curved wood and – in these renders at least – furniture from Zaha Hadid Design complete the contemporary feel. 

Oneiric bathroom by Zaha Hadid Architects for Rossinavi yacht
Oneiric owner’s cabin bathroom, complete with Zaha Hadid Design’s ‘Crevasse’ vase for Alessi shown for visualisation purposes

Superyachts aren’t having the best time of it right now, with schadenfreude out in force as many major vessels face sanctions. It takes a substantial investment to bring a concept like the Oneiric Catamaran to life, and the industry bristles at any suggestion of aiding and abetting financial impropriety.

Nevertheless, if you must embark on the long journey to yacht ownership, then purity of intent and vision is an essential place to start. 

Rossinavi yacht deck by Zaha Hadid Architects
Curved and reflective surfaces animate the decks 

It’s not the first time that ZHA has been involved in naval architecture. Back in 2013, the studio shaped a series of six concepts for the German shipyard Blohm + Voss. Times have changed, and the elaborately organic ‘Unique Circle Yachts’ now feel a little bit too bold for comfort.

Instead, ZHA has given Oneiric a look that’s strong but not showy, reigning in the more baroque excesses (and also eschewing the glittery take on luxe of a thousand other vessels before her). Together with Rossinavi’s electric drive system, Oneiric could run smoothly, silently and under the radar for many decades to come. §

yacht swimming platform