STYLE EX­TEN­SION

Air­bus Presents its Melody Cabin Con­cept

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With air­craft in­te­ri­ors, space is not just about fly­ing the widest and tallest cabin. It’s about giv­ing pas­sen­gers free­dom of move­ment, es­pe­cially in air­craft types like Air­bus’ ACJ320­neo, which can fly 25 pas­sen­gers for over 13 hours or 6,000nm. Draw­ing in­spi­ra­tion from the curves of hills and rivers, ACJ head of cre­ative de­sign and con­cepts Syl­vain Mariat has de­vel­oped the Melody cabin con­cept for the ACJ320­neo fam­ily. The de­sign not only aims to en­able easy move­ment dur­ing long-haul flights, but also to adapt to pas­sen­gers’ me­dia-ori­ented life­styles.

What sets the Melody con­cept apart is its in­cor­po­ra­tion of acous­tics not as an af­ter­thought, but as a start­ing point of the de­sign. Today’s pas­sen­gers ex­pect to be able to use me­dia tech­nol­ogy on board, be it smart­phones, tablets, or home-style cinemas. Work­ing with spe­cial­ist man­u­fac­turer Fo­cal, the de­sign team fo­cused on en­hanc­ing the pas­sen­ger ex­pe­ri­ence through acous­tics. The curves of the cabin ceil­ing, for in­stance, are no mere aes­thetic de­tail — they help ren­der op­ti­mum sound qual­ity. Rect­an­gu­lar-panel loud­speak­ers are in­stalled to blend with the ceil­ing.

THE CON­CEPT IN­COR­PO­RATES ACOUS­TICS NOT AS AN AF­TER­THOUGHT, BUT AS A START­ING POINT

“Cus­tomers ex­pect to take with them their life­styles — whether that means work, rest or play. So, cabin lay­outs must also be prac­ti­cal and flex­i­ble en­ablers,” says Mariat. The Melody con­cept sup­ports this through dis­tinct zones, from a kitchen with a large workspace to a home cinema with a 65-inch large-screen TV. Other spa­ces in­clude a wel­com­ing crew area, mas­ter lounge with con­fer­ence and din­ing area, an­te­room, and mas­ter bed­room with pri­vate en-suite. Ex­tra-large ‘door­ways’ be­tween zones al­low easy flow of move­ment, while re­tractable doors pro­vide pri­vacy when needed. The idea is to al­low si­mul­ta­ne­ous ac­tiv­i­ties to take place in dif­fer­ent ar­eas, with­out in­cur­ring dis­rup­tion.

The sin­u­ous aes­thetic is seen through­out the cabin, right up to the wall-mounted TV with a curved screen in the lounge. The con­fer­ence and din­ing table, which has room for six, is po­si­tioned at a slightly an­gled ori­en­ta­tion to “con­trib­ute to the flu­id­ity of move­ment that one feels when pass­ing through the cabin”, ex­plains Mariat. In the mas­ter bed­room, light and dark strip light­ing in an un­du­lat­ing pat­tern helps pro­vide the im­pres­sion of a height­ened ceil­ing.

Other touches in­clude win­dows that can be light­ened or dark­ened via fin­ger­tip con­trol, and a plant-based dec­o­ra­tive panel in the home the­atre and bed­room. Fi­bre-op­tic

light­ing em­bed­ded in the car­pets guides pas­sen­gers through the dif­fer­ent zones in low light. Ta­bles and cup­boards are made of car­bon fi­bre, re­sult­ing in light­weight fur­ni­ture and con­tribut­ing to the air­craft’s range.

There’s another mo­tive be­hind the curves of walls and fur­ni­ture. “Cus­tomers want to feel im­me­di­ately com­fort­able and re­laxed in what is, ef­fec­tively, an ex­ten­sion of their pri­vate space,” says Mariat. The curves help achieve this by cre­at­ing a soft, wel­com­ing am­biance. This, com­bined with ac­cess to me­dia tech­nol­ogy that one nor­mally en­joys at home, makes the Melody cabin a truly per­sonal space.

“CABIN LAY­OUTS MUST ALSO BE PRAC­TI­CAL AND FLEX­I­BLE EN­ABLERS OF LIFE­STYLES”

The de­sign for the Melody cabin is in­spired by na­ture, de­signed with har­mo­nious curves to im­prove the flow of space

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The in­te­rior is sep­a­rated into dif­fer­ent cabin zones based on clients’ life­styles and pref­er­ences

The con­fer­ence room and mas­ter bed­room con­tinue the sin­u­ous theme of the seat­ing area

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