03 skyscraper superyacht concept
CNN  — 

Gigantic superyachts have long been nicknamed “floating skyscrapers,” but this new innovative concept from studio Rodriguez Design has taken that notion to an entirely new level.

Measuring 110 meters, Malena is designed in the style of a high-rise apartment building, with a symmetrical superstructure consisting of balconies stretching across both sides of its decks and along the middle.

Made of steel and aluminum, the vessel will be fitted with huge exterior spaces in order to encourage outdoor living, as well as a hydraulic swimming platform that provides easy access to the ocean.

Skyscraper on sea

A rendering of the Malena concept, which has a central balcony system similar to a luxury residential building.

Designer Josh Rodriguez, founder of Rodriguez Design, says he drew inspiration from various different architectural structures to develop Malena, taking an “architectonical approach,” rather than that of more traditional yacht design.

“With the side balcony system, we wanted to create the feeling of being on a super luxury skyscraper,” explains Rodriguez. “Wherever the yacht is docked or moored, the city will have a new addition to its skyline.”

Aside from its “sleek and sharp profile,” Malena holds a number of impressive amenities on board, including two infinity pools, and will be able to accommodate up to 24 guests in its 11 cabins, which includes six VIP cabins on the main deck.

Sleek profile

The designers adopted a  "architectonical approach" rather than traditional yacht design while devising Malena.

Its upper deck features a dining area big enough for 24 guests, a lounge area and a touch and go helipad.

Entry to the owner’s deck can be blocked via a set of sliding doors to allow for as much privacy as possible, but those who are invited in will have access to a Jacuzzi and a huge sun-pad area. There’s also an on board sundeck with another Jacuzzi, as well as a bar.

As for its engine, Malena is to be powered by a hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system, achieving a top speed of 18 knots and an estimated range of 6,000 nautical miles when cruising at 12 knots.

Hybrid engine

The vessel's sundeck is fitted with a Jacuzzi and a bar.

“The difference between a diesel-electric hybrid system and a traditional shaft line arrangement is that on a diesel-electric arrangements, the propulsion can come from azipods, or rotating propellers that can turn 360 degrees,” Rodriguez tells CNN .

“The power for these azipods comes from electricity not from directly from the engine itself. This electricity is created by alternators attached to diesel generators.

“These generators can be placed anywhere on the yacht, not necessarily on the typical engine room position, and can be further isolated from sound and vibration, thus making a very smooth yacht.”

According to Rodriguez, Malena is already receiving interest from clients and shipyards and further discussions are underway.

While the project is still in the very early stages of development, he estimates that the superyacht will likely cost over €350 million (around $396 million) to bring to life.

Although the process of engineering, building and delivering the vessel would take between three and four years “under normal circumstances,” demand for superyachts is currently higher than ever.

High demand

Designer Josh Rodriguez estimates that Malena will cost over €350 million to bring to life.

“Shipyards are extremely busy right now, with delivery dates starting from 2025 (the soonest) and raw materials becoming more expensive, being delayed or being canceled all together,” he tells CNN Travel. “With the current situation, it’s very hard to guess.”

The Malena concept is one of a number of awe-inspiring superyachts designs unveiled over the past year as the popularity of bigger vessels continues to grow due to the increasing number of billionaires emerging around the world, along with the impact of the pandemic.

In October, Lazzarini Design Studio revealed renderings of Shape, a new 69-meter yacht design with a “gaping hole” at its center.

Meanwhile, German shipyard Lurssen debuted an emission-free superyacht concept that took inspiration from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland” at the Monaco Yacht Show in May.

Top image credit: Rodriguez Design