Company Name: SMC Design & Rottet Studio
Specific Team: Viking Octantis
Following on from their successful collaboration for Viking Cruises first ocean-class vessel, Viking Star, SMC Design of London and Rottet Studio of Los Angeles have again joined forces in this transatlantic design relationship to create a first Expedition vessel for this prestigious cruise client. Debuting in November 2021, Viking Octantis, followed shortly by her sister Viking Polaris, has been specifically designed to explore the world’s most remote destinations.
For over 30 years, both design studios have provided integrated design solutions to some of the most illustrious hospitality projects in the world on both land and sea. For Viking Octantis, from concept to completion both studios have shown a great dedication to the collaborative design required on a prototype vessel.
Beginning in 2018, designers on both sides of the Atlantic came together to create everything from accommodation design to signature public spaces such as The Living Room and Explorers’ Lounge. Expanding Viking’s cultural enrichment programme, new innovative spaces were created such as the Aula Auditorium & the Expedition Hangar.
As with any new prototype project, communication and coordination was key to ensuring that the design briefs set out by the client were not just reached, but had their boundaries pushed further to improve the guest experience onboard.
Through a shared production of visuals and design presentations, this was executed with efficiency and professionalism whilst also ensuring the operational coordination was taken into consideration.
SMC Designs vast portfolio in maritime ship design, in collaboration with Rottet Studios expertise in some of the worlds leading hospitality interiors has resulted in a complementary partnership which has evolved the Viking brand to what it has became today.
During mid-design phase for Octantis, the first pandemic lockdown in the UK occurred, and was subsequently shortly followed by the US. This however did not deter the spirit shown by both studios. Team meetings became virtual, couriered FF&E packages commonly made flights across the ocean to be coordinated between both studios, and Yard meetings took place from the comfort of our own homes.
As restrictions eased, so did the virtual constraints slightly as the production phase began. Mock-ups took place in Europe, with some of the team in-situ able to broadcast live back to their colleagues in the UK and US. Whilst not typical, it showed a willingness in the face of adversity to still attain that a quality product and design for the client was being achieved by the Yard and their outfitters.
In November the design teams from both SMC Design and Rottet Studio were able to visit Viking Octantis and appreciate the completion of this remarkable vessel, after such an unprecedented, unique and challenging design experience in the production of what will be a fantastic addition to the Viking Cruises fleet.