GAME-CHANGING AQUATIC ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN
With Celebrity Edge, Celebrity Cruises broke the mold and reinvented cruising by contracting a handful of A-list architects and designers whose immense collective experience was previously land-based. An industry first, the entire 2,918-passenger, 1,004-foot ship was designed in 3-D virtual reality. Says Wright, “While designing we had the ability to virtually look around the corner or walk around the back of a chair to see if the view works.”
He used such tools to realize an Alice in Wonderland–like Rooftop Garden (with bursts of flora tended by a resident horticulturist) and a painted steel Magic Carpet (a tennis court–sized cantilevered platform that scales the ship). To make room for both an alfresco dining venue and an outdoor pool, he devised a terraced deck with an asymmetrical, 75-foot pool and martini glass–shaped hot tubs on glass stems teetering above.
Parisian design agency Jouin Manku (the duo behind the Eiffel Tower’s Le Jules Verne restaurant) innovated many public spaces, including The Grand Plaza, where a five-tier, 765-blade chandelier is lit by color-changing LED strips. Ship builders inspired a lenticular corridor where welders’ touches and engineers’ notes are intentionally bared. From one direction, passengers view the ship’s steel bones; from the other they’re immersed in a slick, modern installation.
Acclaimed Spanish architect and designer Patricia Urquiola contributed her own furniture designs and tropical hanging plant pillars to Eden, a three-deck venue with nearly 7,000 square feet of outward-facing glass (the most of any room currently at sea). For the lush, sun-soaked space boasting sensuous curves juxtaposed by geometric shapes, Scott Butler, AIA, of Wilson Butler Architects found inspiration in the Fibonacci sequence. Kelly Hoppen of Kelly Hoppen Interiors furnished the serene Retreat Sundeck with hanging chairs and the entrance of the 22,000-square-foot spa with a mesmerizing crystal installation and dense marble reception desk. “I wanted a statement piece on arrival to create that first ‘wow’ moment as guests walk in,” Hoppen says.
Hoppen’s distinctive aesthetic extends to a pair of two-bedroom Penthouse Suites with soaking tubs on their verandas and cashmere mattresses. With consideration for how materials look both at port and at sea, Hoppen chose a neutral palette emphasizing clean lines and geometric patterns enhanced by layers of texture and vintage glamour. High-tech controls in the Edge Villa duplexes (and throughout all staterooms) open the living space to the water’s edge with the push of a button. “It boasts a double-height [atrium] and outdoor plunge pool, but the really beautiful aspect is its glass box, which gives you a full view of the ocean and yet feels private enough that you could be in your own apartment,” she describes. Also new from the cruise line is Celebrity Flora, a 100-passenger superyacht custom built for year-round Galápagos sailings from Baltra, equipped with Oceanscope Technology to gather critical research data at sea, plus one-of-a-kind furniture by designer Adriana Hoyos and interiors by Francesca Bucci of BG Studio. celebritycruises.com
Mediterranean Transatlantic, Nov. 1–15, 2019 • Eastern Caribbean Cruise, Dec. 15–22, 2019 • Italy, Croatia, and Montenegro, May 4–15, 2020