Airbus Presents its Melody Cabin Concept
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
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