Vripack Co-Creative Directors Marnix Hoekstra (l) and Bart Bouwhuis

SNEEK – It was founded 58 years ago as a naval architecture, engineering and design studio. While still active in these disciplines, Vripack now says they are listed in the wrong order and, after some reflection, has corrected that.

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Hence you’ll see Vripack positioning itself as first and foremost a design bureau whose work is “underpinned by naval architecture and engineering,” Bart Bouwhuis, one of Vripack’s 2 creative directors, tells DutchYachtBuilding.

Vripack is putting more emphasis on its in-house creative process. That may sound like pointless navel-gazing as the company has a portfolio of 7,000+ vessels – from daysailers to superyachts to ferries. But Vripack speaks of a new reality on the ground.

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Bouwhuis: “We have always done a mix of design, engineering and naval architecture. But we find it’s not always clear to the market what Vripack does. People will say we are good in naval architecture and engineering, for instance.”

Bouwhuis says that answer misses the point Vripack wants emphasized today. “Naval architecture and engineering aren’t the areas where we are most useful to our clients,” he

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says. “he most important thing for a client is that we support our designs with engineering and naval architecture. That we draw constructions that fit our designs like a glove.”

Nothing has rammed home the importance of design better than Vripack’s work on the interior and exterior of a 135m Dutch ferry linking the mainland to an unhurried North Sea resort island.

Texelstroom ferry interior

Its vast windows face the open sea, drawing light into seating areas and a central buffet painted in beachy green, beige, brown and blue. Above a kids’ play area, clouds are projected onto the ceiling. Digital fish scoot underfoot. There are family areas and laptop tables. Bouwhuis: “The ferry company opted for a cool ferry design. Our design was the result of smart engineering.”