Dear Director...

Arch.Roberto Angel

Dear Director,

the architect Harrauer raises a problem that is well present in this sector. Since those famous times when he, and many others, dictated the "boating laws", in fact only a few attempts have been made to progress on navigability. Furthermore, those few have not been investigated perhaps because of the difficult assimilation of technologies. As a matter of fact, the techniques and materials have gradually increased, complicated, and there is no way of knowing them in depth that they are already being replaced or if it is only delayed that their poor durability or inefficiency is discovered.

Assuming this assumption as a probable limiting cause of development, it is therefore true that hydrodynamic progress stopped in Harrauer's time. But perhaps because they were already mature at the time to let all the other elements that contribute to the improvement of the boat product - no longer just a shell that must navigate well - reach them.


Among these elements. which at the same time have found development ground. there are superstructures. in charge of welcoming, hosting and - why not - conquering the user. I would add that, in addition to the distributional and functional aspects of the boat. that need absolute priority. today more than ever there are to be added the factors that determine its symbolic and figurative charge. This charge has become one of the many important research elements in the boat project. component whose psychological importance cannot be overlooked. Harrauer himself attaches some value to it. considering the lobster color very appropriate on a certain boat.


The formal aspect is therefore a key element of the project and the chromatic choice is one of its parts. Suffice it to prove absurdly the influence exerted by a boat that is completely painted like "leopard skin" (as in an advertisement of my studio that came out months ago where the slogan was: «not all motoryachts are the same». This was precisely the problem: given the same yacht, change its color and evaluate the difference).

So I would say that. regarding technological progress. Harrauer should consider himself much luckier than Mozart that. if he were to attend a concert of modern music and two hundred and fifty years after his birth - then there would be few reasons for satisfaction.


Unfortunately it is true that what he calls the exasperated aesthetic research of the superstructures is to be considered totally ineffective, and sometimes harsh, for the achievement of a possible progress in the nautical sector, especially when it is transformed into stylistic style in the useless achievement of a questionable beauty.


Roberto Angel


Angel graduated in architecture with a thesis on Harrauer, Caliari and Spadoiini. In these pages some of his projects.