From transportation to an experience out of the ordinary

Solarferry is an electric, solar-powered ferry, created to transport tourists and leisure type users along the banks of Lake of Tunis. The Norwegian based research organisation SINTEF invited EGGS as design partner in the project "Solar Fuelled Electric Maritime Mobility." The project has received a UN grant and seeks to demonstrate the feasibility and the social, economic, and environmental benefits of solar-fuelled electric boat transport in Tunisia and the wider region. The ferry, apart from being an environmentally friendly transport alternative, should be a memorable experience for the passengers. With this in mind, we created a modern, flexible, and visually enchanting interior- and exterior design for Solarferry.

The interior design was created blending Scandinavian simplicity and minimalism with Tunisian culture and traditional patterns, for example, on the wall behind the bar and on the tables. To simulate the results, VR (virtual reality) was used in the process.

Designing the experience

An essential part of the design of the interior of the ferry was to create a feeling of sophistication, lounging, relaxation, and at the same time, a memorable experience. To create this feeling, we put a lot of energy into the choice of CMF (colours, materials, and finish). By mixing Scandinavian simplicity and minimalism with traditional Tunisian styles as patterns, we created a unique and visually pleasing look. A lot of thought was also put behind the lighting to create the right atmosphere, both daytime, and nighttime.

The design was also adapted to night time, using lighting to create a pleasant atmosphere, as well as keeping the space safe. All the interior design was developed in close collaboration with the interior designer in Tunisia, CUBIC Design.

The real deal

To ensure meeting all specifications regarding access, space, flexibility, and amenities, the layout was tested out in real life in 1:1 scale. This way, we were able to ensure that the layout was optimized to accommodate the flow of passengers as making sure that the so-called social zones were placed in the most appropriate places. Tunisian SCIN (Societe de Constructions Industrielles et Navales) is constructing and building the ferry, and it is expected to be ready for use and transporting passenger in the Spring of 2020.

The specifications for the project included details such as the capacity to transport 30 people, being accessible with a wheelchair as well as holding a captain’s cabin and 1 handicap toilet. To test the design of the layout, we performed 1:1 scale real-life simulations. This way, we could quickly try out different plans and test the flow of passengers within the space.