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Haute Living

By Natasha Dorsainvil on August 19th, 2009

Extraordinary in both concept and design, Schöpfer Yachts’ Oculus is already making an impression on the yacht world without ever touching water.

When the Oculus finally makes the grand leap from animated concept to cruise above the world’s most premier cerulean seas, shore-side eyes will join company with those who have already ogled and ahhed at the ship’s progressive renderings.

It’s the boat’s unique design that piqued people’s interest and has been causing a stir amongst megayacht and design enthusiasts alike. The concept comes courtesy of Harvard-trained architect E. Kevin Schöpfer, who founded the Boston-based Ahearn | Schöpfer and Associates more than 30 years ago. The firm’s projects run the gamut from the traditional European-style Hotel Commonwealth in Boston, Massachusetts, to the out-of-this-world International UFO Museum & Research Center in Roswell, New Mexico. Oculus represents Schöpfer’s first foray into the water world. “I started looking at [yachts] from the interior design point of view and I thought it was the right extension of high-end residential,” Schöpfer says. “The more I looked at them, the more I realized I liked the outside as well.”

With Oculus, Schöpfer used his experience in architecture and interior design to carve out an untouched U.S. market, which he hopes will seduce yachters in search of boat profiles that break through more than just water. When he first decided to embark upon the yacht scene, Schöpfer didn’t want his place in the trade to be etched by the conventional lines and angles associated with long established yacht designs. “I saw that traditional yachts weren’t progressing a lot,” he explains. “I saw that there was a niche where someone could explore something a little more robust.” He sought to make waves in a completely different way.

Schöpfer brought the Oculus to life by way of a fortuitous meeting with digital animators Tangram 3DS. The animation firm was looking to tread into the yacht market right around the time Schöpfer launched Schöpfer Yachts, in 2008. Fish and squid were the inspiration for their first collaboration. More like an enormous whale because of its size, Oculus’ stunning design plans are...

New York Edition
Aug - Sep 2009
Cover for magazine Haute Living <br><i>USA</i>
Haute Living