Courtesy Alan Tansey Not least among the constraints posed by designing an apartment at sea are the strict timelines of a ship’s cruising schedule and drydock periods. In fact, when a family first approached Michael K. Chen, principal of New York firm MCKA, about designing an interior for an apartment aboard a small, exclusive cruise ship, the construction dates were already set. Chen and his team had only eight months to design an interior that could be prefabricated and transported to the shipyard in Spain where the ship was scheduled to be for regular maintenance. For an architect who has become known for interiors that shift and transform to suit a range of uses, the constraints of a small suite aboard an ocean-going ship opened up new possibilities. “I am very interested in craft, and really interested in the programmatic range one finds in small spaces, because the ambitions aren’t smaller, even though the square footage is smaller,” explains Chen. “What makes this space luxurious is the fact that there are very few compromises in terms of what the space will accommodate,” he continues. Courtesy Alan Tansey For this particular “pied-à-mer”, as the firm has taken to calling it, […]


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