Hull number three in Sanlorenzo’s latest Alloy series brings a whole new philosophy to superyacht design, says Cecile Gauert…
When the owner took delivery of his new yacht, it was the very first time he’d seen it. He had never cupped his hand around the perfectly shaped bannister, or run his fingertips across the silk-like finish of the coffee table in the saloon. He had never stepped into his cabin, sized up the wardrobe or turned on the taps in the bathroom.
Hull number three of Sanlorenzo’s 44Alloy series was built at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. With travel restrictions and quarantines creating barriers everywhere, the owner had to wait for the yacht to get to his part of the world before he could see it, says Guillaume Rolland, director of yacht design at Christian Liaigre, who was responsible for the yacht’s interior design.
The client, a self-made man who enjoys good cigars, fine whisky and belting songs into a microphone in lively karaoke sessions, approached Liaigre to create the “Asian style with a French touch” he desired for the yacht’s interior. “He wanted to find his roots in the boat, so he wanted a design that evokes Asia, but with a French touch,” says Rolland.
Due to the pandemic, very few people had a chance to see the Sanlorenzo 44Alloy. The Italian shipyard introduced the concept from the drawing board of Zuccon International Project in 2017. The studio designed the yacht’s exterior and layout, and delivered the first two hulls in 2020 and 2021.
The first hull, H1, had a Zuccon-designed interior; hull two’s interior was penned by German design practice Studio ASH; and the third has Liaigre’s original interior – so original that it reportedly raised a few eyebrows at the shipyard before the finished product won everyone over. The owner of the third 44Alloy prefers to remain private, including disclosing the yacht’s name, but, fortunately, he has allowed the designer and the shipyard to show off what they have created.
“The woodwork is out of this world,” says chief architect Bernardo Zuccon, appreciatively. Zuccon does not like to use the word innovation. However, with the 44Alloy – the first he developed entirely for Sanlorenzo – he took a very different approach to the design and the life on board. “The 44Alloy was a very important step for my career because it was my first experience in exploring what I like to call the issue of how to create new living areas,” he says.
He loves to study the history of architecture and draws inspiration from some of the most outstanding practitioners of the 20th century. In this case, the man who gave him the creative spark was Adolf Loos. His Raumplan concept broke away from tradition in architecture to focus on creating an experience through interconnected spaces.
Raumplan refers to a three-dimensional way of thinking in order to enrich how spaces are lived in. Instead of approaching the design with a side sketch, as he may have done many times before, Zuccon started with a cross-section of one key space – the owner’s cabin. “I started my study of this yacht from this section,” he says. He wanted to change the way people experience the space on board. “You can’t get lost on a yacht,” he says. “When I speak about 45-metre yachts, 100 per cent of times, you have the cockpit, main deck area, owner’s cabin, then upper saloon, the wheelhouse. So it was my first idea to create a sort of jungle inside where you can get lost, and you can find different points of view.”
Unusually, the owner’s suite spreads over three levels on a yacht that’s just shy of 44 metres in length. A lobby is on the main deck. The bedroom suite, including a large wardrobe and a bathroom, is on one level a few steps below, and a well-lit space surrounded by glass is a few steps above the owner’s main deck lobby. Zuccon likes to call this space between the main deck and wheelhouse deck “the mezzanine” – a bit of a secret space which can be used in several ways: as an office, a reading room, a small gym or a private lounge.
Many historical buildings throughout the world, and in Italy in particular, have such spaces, he remarks. “The innovative concept of the owner’s area, conceived as a private apartment of 147 square metres, is probably the key selling point of this owner-centric vessel, as it is a solution never seen before on a superyacht of this size,” says Ferruccio Rossi, the president of Sanlorenzo’s Superyacht Division. “Everyone falls in love with it.”
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