The art of glass

Uninterrupted views

Feadship and the art of glass

The launch of the 46.22-metre Feadship Como again drew attention to Feadship’s pioneering use of glass in 2014. The client requested unprecedentedly large windows in the hull and a wealth of glass in her superstructure.

Glass Structures

Like every custom project at Feadship, Como’s owner’s requirements were met in style. And following on from other recent launches that have highlighted the art of glass such as Hampshire II, Musashi and Venus, thoughts now turn to the next logical – but seriously complex – innovation, namely using glass structures to also support structural loads from the decks above.

Glass innovation determins the look

Glass determines the look

The advance of technology in the use of glass is radically changing the look of superyachts in the same way that it transformed land-based architecture. Today glass determines the look of most buildings, and its use on large yachts has been constantly on the rise over the decades. In 1960 the average proportion of glass within yacht silhouettes was around seven percent, a figure which had doubled by 1990 as windows became larger, were placed closer to each other, and played a far more prominent role in styling.


Feadship has always sought innovative ways to use materials and many custom builds over the decades have pushed the window in bathing interiors with natural light. Current developments can be traced to the first Future Feadship Concept design in 2006 called X-stream.

X-stream sketching
Musashi the art of glass

The impact of glass

Glass panes have a major impact on the routing of ducting, piping and cables. A layout concept was developed with a structural core containing stairs, ducting and technical spaces similar to buildings. This was first used in the 88-metre Feadship Mushashi in 2010, where the structural elements around the luxury interior spaces were kept to a minimum and the proportion of glass to metal in her exterior profile is over 20 percent.

From concept to reality

Various Future Feadship concepts have been fitted with larger window panes and underwater windows. Aeon featured glass in the hull and showed how large windows at the waterline could offer amazing views on the oceanic world. This idea was brought to reality on the 78.50-metre Feadship Hampshire II in 2012, which offers an underwater viewing port of over one metre in diameter from the wine cellar on the bottom deck.

Glass innovation image hampshire ii

Revolutionary use of glass

The next revolutionary project to showcase Feadship’s heart for glass was the 78.20-metre Venus. This head-turning yacht was created in a unique collaboration between the client, Philippe Starck and Feadship. Venus is special in many ways, but it is the use of glass which has perhaps received the most attention. The giant windows on her pavilion deck required close cooperation with Lloyd’s and glass expert Eckersley O’Callaghan. Normal windows are tested full scale in a steel construction using water pressure to see whether the construction will hold. Venus’s pavilion windows measure 10 x 2.4 metres, however, and there is no testing facility for such a size. Moreover, the connection system is very different as there is only a connection on one side with the windows resting on a couple of supports.

Glass innovation revolutionary image

Uninterrupted views

And then came Feadship Como. Here the superstructure glass is placed on top of the metal rather than being set into it, creating a continuous surface. These glazed side panels give uninterrupted views from the owner’s stateroom. And the exceptionally large windows in the hull go way beyond what is permissible from a regulation point of view. We proved to Lloyd’s that we were able to make windows suitable for that location and size, and that the glass laminate would hold. Moreover, the glass covers the structure on Como in a continuous glass band. We had learned from the Venus project that you have to measure and correct the complete superstructure in the paint and filler works to be able to make a fair transition from the paintwork to the glass and back to the paint again. The gloss lines have to be continuous… And on Como they are.

Glass innovation como image


Aeon blends an eco-friendly attitude with Feadship design flair and construction excellence. Its spectacular glass tower and green energy system reflects a desire to be at one with the environment.