Giant bear figurine

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Giant bear for the cruise ship “Quantum of the seas”

When the largest cruise ship ever built in Germany sets sail in the fall of 2014, it will not do so without an almost 11-metre-high art sculpture made by Accentform: Visible from afar, a pink polar bear in a stylish facetted look is enthroned amidships on the starboard side of the white ocean liner “Quantum of the Seas”. The giant pink bear figurehead was a real eye-catcher as soon as it left the shipyard and immediately became the public’s favorite detail of the gigantic cruise ship.

The figure, elaborately crafted in GRP hand laminate by the American artist Lawrence Argent gives a first impression of the 2,980 pieces of art collection worth several million US dollars on board the new building. The motto of the event is “What Makes Life Worth Living”.

The bear, entitled “From Afar”, consists of 1,340 triangular sections and is intended to encourage guests not only to look at it, but also to touch it.

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The special thing about cruises is that they take people out of the normality of their everyday lives and open up new experiences for them. The bear is intended to appeal to those who think they don’t know what art is and offer them an accessible overall picture.

Lawrence Argent

Pictures from production

In the case of Accentform, the client, purpose and destination of the figure had to be kept secret until the public undocking, as the American client Royal Caribbean International did not want to reveal the art on board until the ship left the covered building dock. This was a real surprise coup for RCI when the largest cruise ship ever built in Germany undocked in a high-profile event, as the giant bear figure had not yet appeared in any previous visualizations or press material.

Giant figure is transported away
Giant figure is transported away

Even if the 10.5-meter bear blends harmoniously into the image of the high-rise luxury cruiser, things are a little bigger on land. When the finished bear was delivered in June 2014, local residents were amazed when the gigantic pink plastic bear floated through the industrial estate in Nienstädt in slow motion. After being loaded by crane, the journey was first made by heavy goods vehicle via the closed federal highway to Rusbend, then by barge to the Meyer shipyard in Papenburg, where the bear was mounted on the new cruise ship.

Accentform worked for several months to complete the giant pink bear. The figure is 10.5 m high and around 6 m wide and is made of multi-layered, weather-resistant GRP laminate produced from specially manufactured hard foam molds.

To reinforce the GRP shell, which weighs a good 3 tons, the bear received a multi-piece steel skeleton weighing almost 5 tons from the STAMA metalworking shop in accordance with the specifications of the ACCENTFORM engineers.

The characteristic color was developed in collaboration with Rupf & Co. AG on the basis of a silk-matt PU paint for a sophisticated and sea-weather-resistant finish and applied using the airbrush method after final sanding.

As a lightweight and resilient high-performance material, the GRP used is superior to other materials: Low weight and high flexibility keep the bear securely in shape and in position, even with temperature fluctuations, high wind loads and rough seas. And there is also an enormous logistical advantage: despite the huge dimensions and the associated road closures, the shipment to the shipyard could be carried out quite conventionally using a truck-mounted crane and low-loader.

In addition to the latest environmental technologies and improved energy efficiency, the “Quantum of the Seas” will score points above all with its exciting new entertainment features:

  • The North Star, a viewing gondola modeled on the London Eye at a height of 90 meters, will be unique in the world. And it will not only be a spectacular novelty for the guests, the gondola is also a masterpiece from a shipbuilding point of view.
  • The “Two70°” is a large area at the stern of the ship that serves as a lounge with bar and dance floor during the day and as a show stage in the evening. The name stands for “270 degrees” and refers to the almost all-round view through the large window fronts. They also serve as projection screens during the nightly shows.
    Another innovation is the “SeaPlex”, a multifunctional room where travelers can pass the time with bumper cars and basketball, for example.
  • The “RipCord by iFly” simulator even creates the feeling of a real parachute jump. And even the inside cabins offer an attraction: 82-inch screens with real-time views of the sea serve as virtual balconies and provide the same view as the outside cabins.

This innovative marvel will set sail from New York at more than 22 knots for the Bahamas, Bermuda and the Caribbean – together with over 4,100 passengers and a giant pink bear built by ACCENTFORM.

Project details