The Italian city of Venice is known for many things, including its beauty, its connection to the world of the arts, and (perhaps obviously) its many canals. And there are few if any icons that best encapsulate the city’s spirit than its paddled boats, better known as gondolas. While they’ve largely remain unchanged, designer Philippe Starck is hoping to change that with a radical redesign he’s dubbed the “Dream of Winter” Gondola for Venice.
Obviously, the overall silhouette of the boat is very much in line with the classic, iconic gondolas that presently traverse the city’s waterways. However, there are also some impressive, modern, and exceedingly unique upgrades. For starters, the boat gets an integrated dome to protect from the cold-weather elements crafted from Corning Gorilla Glass (meaning it is, for all intents and purposes, practically indestructible) and a hull built from “black arachnid laminated” seaweed bio-resin, which is finished in a shark skin-textured paint for fluid drag reduction. It also has a sliding roof for easy entering and exiting, vegan apple leather upholstery, a solar-powered gyroscopic stabilizer, and an optional turbine (which can be charged via solar or hydropower) for powered assistance.
As it stands right now, the “Dream of Winter” Gondola for Venice is little more than a concept, though the design will be displayed at the HUB of Strategy Innovation of Ca’ Foscari. And, who knows, this radical redesign could very well end up being a real boat floating upon the Venetian tides sometime in the near future.