Architect Frank Gehry sets sail on latest design project


Frank-GehryFamed architect Frank Gehry is used to getting what he wants. And for years what the avid sailor has wanted was to set sail on a new project: to create a yacht.

But not just any yacht. Town and Country explains that he had a design idea for his craft that really floated his boat — one that was completely unique, if not thought by some, to be unfeasible. He embarked on a collaboration with Argentinian naval architect Germán Frers and developer Richard Cohen to create his first-ever yacht “Foggy” named for an acronym of his initials.

Knowing he had the potential to go “overboard” with his elaborate vision, he warned Frers, “Don’t let me go too crazy. The boat has to work.”

So with years of experience crafting fast sea vessels, Frers suggested lining the boat with carbon fibre for lightness and speed, but Gehry seemed more concerned with form over function and wanted to line the boat in wood because of both “boat lore” and his love of wood, saying, “On a boat like this, it’s about romance and romantic encounters,”

Gehry, with unsinkable drive, then contacted Steve White the owner of Brooklyn Boat Yard in Maine, sharing his drawing for unique lattice windows on the deck and stern, and brought White onto the project.


CQwdvnsWgAAigYlWorking together, a compromise was finally met. They used one of White’s firm’s specialties, “‘cold molding,” a modern process that involves sandwiching wood around a high-tech core and yields lighter, stronger, and more durable craft than traditional planking,” which according to Designboom “offers a warm, traditional feel, which Gehry appreciates. To compliment the timber structure, titanium details and distinctive patterns can be found in and around the main cabin.”

After testing the glass windows for safety — “glass steals a lot of the hull’s strength” — and finding them up to speed, the structure of his vision was intact. Gehry then concentrated on the interiors which include a colorful carpet created by Joyce Shin, Gehry’s ­daughter-in-law, and sheepskin coverings, “which turned the space into something between an Austin Powers–style lair and a discotheque,” Designboom wrote.

Happily on board his creation, Gehry and Cohen have plans to sail down to South America with hopes for nothing but sunny skies and smooth sailing ahead.