International architects have also tried their hand at nautical design. Patricia Urquiola produced the SD96, for Sanlorenzo, fully respecting nautical culture, carrying out meticulous research into spaces, shapes and materials, such as that obtained by recycling fibreglass from boats for the outdoor tables, kitchen stools and bedside tables.
Foster+Partners have designed a number of high-end boats since 2009 – the Panthalassa yacht, the Alen motor yacht and a series of 41 m superyachts for YachtPlus (built by the Rodriquez Shipyard in Sarzana), of which the Ocean Emerald is the very first in the world in multiple ownership.
David Chipperfield, another name on the international design scene and a keen sailor himself, designed the spacious interiors of the ultra-luxurious Tankoa S65-11 maxi-yacht in a minimalistic style that puts comfort above flashiness, and those of the Brenta 80 D carbon cruiser, which are understated and sophisticated, furnished with chairs and sofas by Franco Albini and Luigi Caccia Dominioni. Giugiaro Architettura has also designed a Tankoa, the S65-12 mega yacht, luxurious but ecologically conscious.
The pioneers of this discipline include Marc Newson with Aquariva - a perfect restyling of the old Aquarama, again by Riva, and a Fifties and Sixties icon. Launched in a 22-unit limited edition, it is marketed by the Gagosian Gallery in New York.
A fashion designer has also put his name to a superyacht, in fact to yachts over 70 metres. The new 72 m Admiral motor yacht, presented to the press a few months ago, bears the signature of Giorgio Armani, in partnership with The Italian Sea Group, a luxury nautical benchmark. The elegance and sophistication of the boat draw on the style of the fashion house, in a perfect blend of design and avantgarde technology. Its launch is slated for early 2024.
Pierpaolo Lazzarini’s Jet Capsule gives us a taster of what the watercrafts of the future might be like. It’s an 18 m2 high-performing mini-yacht and totally customisable according to the users’ preferences, from leisure to commercial. It boasts photochromic windows, photovoltaic panels, with a choice of single or dual jet, diesel or petrol 440 to 1200 horsepower engines and speeds of between 35 and 65 knots or three electric motors capable of achieving 30 knots, and a cutting-edge hydro propulsion system. Inspired by the rescue shuttles on great cargo ships, it’s a novel boat concept that even at the pre-launch stage attracted much attention. Assembled by hand in Italy using a method more akin to that used for a hyper car than a ship, it has CE and RINA certification and can be used as a leisure craft or for commercial transport all over the world.