This is a post with two parts, and the first belongs to the realm of the sheer joy of finding, as a boy, that you have your big toy truck, that can carry all your toys, and is hughe in size. Dockwise is a Dutch company that specialises in “creating superior value by realizing the inconceivable” in the heavy lift industry (most of the time for the oil industry). They do a thing that, having lived by a busy seaport for most of my life, I have seen sometimes: moving enormous objects from continent to continent. The Swan has a length of 180,96 meters and a deck space of 126,6×31,66 meters (almost an acre).
But lets recognise it, I’m a metric man, so I prefer the Blue Marlin, whose deck space is 178,20×63 meters (1,1 hectares). Or why not the Vanguard, with even more space (just see this video to feel how some 3.000 tons barges can be stacked as tetra bricks).
There are many things here that go beyond the sheer child joy, to enter the realm of the architecture and engineering. The first thing is how ingenuous the whole idea of these ships is: no crane would lift such heavy lifts, so instead the ship inmerses partially as to get under the load, and then rises to take it aboard. The second one is the relevance of the scale among elements in a composition as to transmit different ideas. Take, for instance, a US supercarrier: they are longer and wider than most of these ships, and they also have on board big heavy objects, but the airplanes seem, by comparaison, like small toy cars on your toy truck. These ships seem much bigger due to the size of the loads. They are definitely italian baroque…
I wonder what Aldo Rossi would have done with that instead of his Teatro del Mondo…but I would perharps prefer to see Archigram.