Ship sail

Revel in a prefab holiday apartment with mechanical aesthetics aboard a cruise ship

If you were going to spend enough time on a boat, you would want to have fairly comfortable accommodations. Alas, not all of us could afford to take luxury cruises let alone take a private cruise aboard a luxury line. But that doesn’t mean we can’t dream or marvel at the glorious living conditions that exist for those who can afford it. This prefab vacation apartment is one of those things you can only wonder about, unless you can one day board the largest private cruise ship in the world.

Designer: Michael K. Chen

Inspired by French-Swiss architect and designer Le Corbusier’s Unite D’Habitation housing typology, Pied-à-Mer is a 600-square-foot luxury vacation apartment on a private cruise ship. As expected of course, it has a nautical theme but with mid-century modernist influences. It starts out as a one-bedroom living space, but can convert to a two-bedroom space when visited by friends or family members.

The entire space can be transformed into a two-bedroom space with two bathrooms, a kitchen, a living area, a dressing room and a safe. There is also room for an entrance hall and storage space which you would need if you are staying longer than a weekend. The vestibule has storage on one side and then a cloakroom on the other side. The entrance has the guest closet on the left and the guest bathroom on the right, leading to the kitchen, living space and a sliding door which opens onto a terrace with open sea views.

The apartment is made up of pre-engineered pod-like volumes that were created in Austria and then installed on the ship in Spain for five weeks while the ship underwent maintenance in drydock. The modules, coverings, cabinets and all the functional elements were all prefabricated, and some, like the folding table, were created in New York before being shipped and installed in the apartment.

Speaking of the dining table, when not in use for eating it can be put away and then the space is converted into a guest room by lowering the guest bed. This bed as well as the main bed comes with built-in bedside tables, lighting and even shelving. There is also a sliding door to give some privacy between the two bedrooms. The fabricated parts are available in a ribbed aluminum finish in blue and gray to give it a “slightly machine aesthetic” in keeping with Le Corbusier’s “machine for living” concept.