Tankoa yachts has commissioned Exclusiva Design to deliver a tailor made project design called “Progetto Bolide” which will astonish. We’re talking about a 72 metre superyacht with 540 square metres of glazed lateral panelling. Let’s take a closer look at
Exclusiva Design started up ten years ago following preliminary meetings between designer architect Fabio Mazzeo and project manager Vito Taddei: both of them are worlds apart in the sense of training – one an architect the other a project manager – but both wanted to create a different enterprise model, one which could deal with project and design work and monitor the realisation of the projects, by harmonising creativity with actual construction. The company has over the past decade completed numerous important - obviously one-off – projects. To name a few: the main Gazprom offices in St. Petersburg, airport terminals, offices as well as public buildings in ad-
dition to residential buildings on privately owned, islets in Doha, magnificent villas and blocks of flats in Middle and Far Eastern Countries, along the French Riviera, London, Paris and in the Alpine area in Northern Italy.the meeting with Tankoa was for Exclusiva a wonderful introduction to the yachting world and design. The result was widely commented from the start as “Progetto Bolide” kicked off with a Futuristic design theme: a 72 metre superyacht which amply sports an all new yacht concept. To better understand the philosophy behind all this we went to interview Fabio Mazzeo, chairman and design director who oversaw each phase of this project.
A very Italian look about the studio – with HQ situated in a 16th century building in the historic centre – It is here that Exclusiva Design draws up decidedly tailor made projects. What’s your approach and policy concerning project design work? Today we can define ourselves as being very concrete in our approach and we are furthering our ‘designed and built policy’. The will to deliver exclusive and unique products has led us to become a close knit working group which reasons right across the whole project transversally as we believe best results are those that are made up of diverse competencies. This means that we have begun to work with professionals coming from different fields, that are not necessarily tied to the architectural and design world. This makes us differ from those working this field of activity. We have begun to take greater interest in a one of a kind approach which translates into single unique works. But in this case unique is not only meant as something precious, but also made to measure, in other words something built specifically according to clients’ expectations and desires. How are you structured? Today we total about sixty in the different areas making up the company: Creative R&D related to project design, manufacturing capability and enterprise, communications department, admin. and financial control.the people involved in these sectors vary in terms of professional requisites to best carry out their given functions and responsibilities: we have project managers, designers, interior decorators, and smart, and capable construction managers on every site. Let’s talk about yachts and Tankoa. How did you fit in? We normally work from Russia to China and the Middle East, Europe and South Africa for very wealthy clients coming from many parts of the globe. Obviously high-end yachts are very close to our segment so I believe this was a natural consequence or evolution which got us involved in this special project. It was obviously very important to work with a group that was prepared to understand our way of planning and doing things, and not only, but also someone who was prepared to invest valuable time in research work. While scouting around to find what we were looking out for, we came across this small dynamic shipyard, albeit a very well appreciated yard staffed by experienced people, Tankoa was looking for a different approach. In them we found the right partners. They were enthusiastic from the very start. As for us we trusted the shipyard’s building capacities completely. How would you define “Progetto Bolide”? There are three key elements involved.the first is the relationship with the contouring environment: whoever purchases a yacht, likes to spend time in the same context as the yacht does, the sea and therefore one of the first things we did was to upgrade the perception there is of the surrounding environment by installing huge glazed panels. In fact there is ample deployment of transparent surfaces which also aim to make the interiors brighter and as semi- transparent as possible. The second key element is usability and transformability of the spaces.to do this we tried to imagine spots that
could not only lend themselves to becoming versatile or multi-purpose but could also double as areas reserved for daily use on board.the owner’s suite which extends for 400 square metres is a concrete example of the point I am making. For the owner’s perusal there’s a truly large private bathroom, a gym, a wellness spot, a changing room, a terrace and Jacuzzi, massage parlour, barber/hairdresser... A real penthouse which can be reached without meeting anyone on the way.the swimming pool installed along the main deck can be covered over thanks to a push button device to gain extra space (from 100 to 140 square metres of accrued space) which you can tread on. The third element has to do with the connection or relationship between the interiors and the exterior sections. The optimised harmonious solution translates into nearly 900 square metres of covered surface and approximately 600 square metres of uncovered areas, without sacrificing any of the technical and water toys areas. How important is the role of technology in terms of materials and in the building of the needed special frames and struts? Well we brought into yachting our prior experience gained on building sites, not so much in terms of technology but out of a sheer desire to experiment: today when building residential areas but not only there are plenty of calculated risks taken in terms of structural and technologic elements which have in fact improved our understanding of how well diverse materials adapt. Exclusiva introduced a little unscrupulousness into the project I dare say, by deploying several elements which had not still been accepted in yachts through a sort of underlying “fear for something new”. It is clear that innovation is always demanding in terms of results. Tankoa though immediately took up a positive attitude and was always very cooperative. Finally when all was accomplished the end product possessed a number of calculated risks, but doable ones: 270 square metres of glazed panels divided in two for each of the sides speak for themselves. Was your creativity limited by the structural restrictions encountered in yacht building? To be honest we enjoyed the freedom we had for things we could not do and many more limits on those we could, which turned out as an advantage. As an architect I always think restrictions are a point of strength which lead to success. From restrictions you manage to set down new relationships between parts, being a little creative you can face up to problems and find new solutions. Did you request things of Tankoa which were initially thought as being not doable? Well from a feasibility view point, we found ourselves with fairly unusual ideas which were difficult to put into practice, but Tankoa’s technical department made itself utterly available every time. One of the initial requests we had was to increase the standing headroom below decks, mainly in the lounge and dining areas. Consequently the beam of the yacht had to be increased accordingly and is beamier than a yacht of the same size. The aesthetics we wanted called for clean clear cut lines and in the end we got them. Obviously we took into account every
technical request from the yard but Tankoa’s technical department on the other hand was prepared to change modus operandi which is rare enough when it comes to technical offices. How did design and performance compare with safety at sea? Progetto Bolide was doable from the very start which makes it stand out from many other concepts. Tank tests were carried out immediately. Many of our intuitions proved sustainable and also technically performing. It’s a fast ship, it is above average in terms of sea kindliness which means that it delivered very positive results even if they were not specifically connected to design. Are you envisaging to further your experience in yacht design? We really enjoyed doing this and enjoying what you do is a great starting point when dealing with innovation. For us though, the success obtained with this project is mainly a cultural one. Often the problem you have to face is not to do things which have never been done before, but to possess the capacity to know when to change, diversify, listen and study new ways of contributing. Returning to tailor made for a moment... which are the choices made for the interior decor? It really involved in depth surgery, at molecule level even. The team led by Cecilia Brunori (architect) flanked by all the staff and myself worked on the interiors as if there was a demanding client on hand....so we imagined his tastes, habits, desires, his capriciousness even and his desire to astonish and to show off the yacht to his friends and guests.the interior decor was developed in tailor made fashion where every square metre was fashioned to best match shape and pattern together. This involved careful analysis of the materials, the ergonomics, spaces, touch, and the obvious relationship between inside and out. We went further and imagined the hypothetical client waking up in the morning, taking a peep at the sun, then we asked ourselves whether he normally uses his left rather than right hand with which to open the door and what he would be likely to do if he were to walk into the main living room and which would be the first thing he’d do. As it turned out it was a humanistic exercise. Well how were spaces divided? The main deck consists of the cinema area as well as the guest quarters made up of five VIP suites. The upper deck hosts the saloon and helm controls station while the sundeck hosts the owner’s living quarters. Which kind of materials did you choose? We deployed natural materials, in the main since we like to use materials like block wood for example that feel reassuring to the touch.we want to feel the effect of the colour schemes, and appreciate the perfume, which unknowingly but inevitably reaches one’s sense of smell as often happens in elegant and sophisticated environments.the uniqueness of an object or the discreet charm of a place is not found solely in their form but also in the number of diverse senses that are enhanced. Real luxury is not found in a place therefore, but in the privilege of being able to enjoy an exclusive relationship with the contouring materials.