Cast your eye over a typical superyacht and you'll likely be met with an extremely polished and seamless package. While you certainly couldn't say the Valkyrie falls short in this regard, its designer has looked to break the mold somewhat with a fragmented exterior inspired by an architectural movement spawned in the 1980s. But that's not to say it compromises on luxury.
"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," says the Valkyrie's designer Chulhun Park.
That pointed him toward a postmodern architectural movement known as deconstructivism, characterized by building exteriors warped into irregular, fragmented forms that deviate from your typically neat geometric design. This style of design can be seen today through the handiwork of notable architects like Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry (though the former had rejected the label).
The Valkyrie began life as a thesis project while Park studied vehicle design at Royal College London, but his sketches soon drew the attention of Palmer Johnson, where he was also completing an internship at the time. The yacht-building giant then took Park on full-time, where he became a senior designer before moving onto Latvia's Latitude Yachts as its chief designer.
If built, the 229-meter (751-ft) Valkyrie would become the largest yacht in the world, easily outstripping the 180-m (592-ft) Azzam owned by Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates. Park tells us the Valkyrie is much more than a student project, and that it was deeply researched and benefitted from cooperation with the Palmer Johnson team."
But he designed the Valkyrie to serve as public space for the masses rather than a personal playground for billionaires. He imagines casinos, galleries, theaters and restaurants setting up shop on board, drawing in customers (and profits) and providing a good time for all. The floating entertainment hub could be used to host events, and guests could buy single day tickets to check out the action.
When it comes to accommodating overnight guests, the Valkyrie features 26 cabins for 52 guests, along with 92 crew spread across 46 cabins, with plenty of large windows and open decking to take in the surroundings.
While the exterior above the waterline was designed by Park, beneath the surface is the handiwork of Palmer Johnson. The steel or aluminum hull would be fitted to a carbon fiber superstructure, with the vessel based on Palmer Johnson's trimaran hull design. Park says this design limits drag at high speeds and offers greater stability than a traditional mono-hull design, leading to a 50 percent increase in fuel efficiency.
On whether the Valkyrie is likely to be built, Park says only that there "has been genuine interest" in it.