Flip Ship – rotating interior

by on 18/ 04/ 2011, under Engineering, History, Uncategorized

…This ship called FLIP (Floating Instrument Platform) is the most unusual research vessel. With a length of 108 meters it can be partially flooded in order to flip…..

This ship called FLIP (Floating Instrument Platform) is the most unusual research vessel. With a length of 108 meters it can be partially flooded in order to flip. It pitches 90 degree backwards, resulting a 17 meter high vessel pointing up out of the water. An interesting kinetic architectural detail, is the interior of this ship. When flipped, a wall(bulkhead) turns into a floor and working areas change as well.
It was built in 1962 to refine acoustic targeting for submarine rockets., but scientists quickly realized that it would be useful for all kinds of research. FLIP is nowadays redesigned since 1994 to study wave height, acoustic signals, water temperature and density, and for the collection of meteorological data.

All the living and working areas are in the top part of FLIP. Most of the bottom is empty compartments. It takes about 28 minutes to turn to the vertical position. During the flip, everyone stands on the outside decks.

Up to 16 people can live and work in top part of FLIP. In order to use the same space in horizontal and vertical position, several adjustments have been made. Every room has a door in both the wall and ceiling. Bunk beds, toilets and stoves are built on swivels and gimbals, so they will turn along with the ship. Other equipment must be unbolted and moved. In the video the procedure is visualized. Not all interior objects can be rotated so that they are built twice. So there are two sinks in the washroom, one always in the correct position.

All in all this kinetic architecture detail is interesting approach how to the define the floor. What OMA has done for Prada for a temporary project(read more about it here) FLIP is a permanent solution for a ship. Unfortunately the interior of FLIP is not an outstanding solution. Having just one element for each situation is possible to create as building it twice. It may costs some more money and a detailed design so that it is for FLIP not effective to create. But the toilet has been redesigned for the flipping process too.
While watching the video, I discovered that the people during the flipping process, really stand freely on outside decks. That doesn’t look safe at all! This could be already less dangerous and difficult when just a simple swing would be installed. Some swinging seats would be perfect for each flipping process. Having a swing on flip boat would fit to this unusual concept.

image credit: University of San Diego; Office of Naval Research auf einer größeren Karte anzeigen


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