The Fifth El­e­ment


A sis­ter com­pany to Tec­no­mar, Ad­mi­ral is an Ital­ian ship­yard that has pro­duced boats since 1966 but their new E Mo­tion line of alu­minium dis­place­ment yachts only look for­wards. Quinta Essen­tia is the first of these new su­pery­achts.

What’s in a name? Quinta Essen­tia is in fact the own­ers’ sec­ond su­pery­acht with this name. Launched in May 2016 by the Ad­mi­ral ship­yard in Italy, the builder’s first E-mo­tion hy­brid yacht looks to be a very dif­fer­ent propo­si­tion to the owner’s pre­vi­ous 2011-built Heesen (now re­named Quite Es­sen­tial). For starters, the old Quinta Essen­tia had a high-vol­ume in­te­rior, with more space than most yachts in her class, and her ex­te­rior, while hand­some in a clas­sic way, was tra­di­tional-look­ing. The new one has been de­signed by Monaco-based Do­broser­dov De­sign and in­cludes a ver­ti­cal bow, straight­edged and lay­ered top­side, and vast ex­panses of glaz­ing, from floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows in the sky­bridge to rec­tan­gu­lar port­holes in the lower guest suites. Amaz­ingly, it also claims to have more space. Though iden­ti­cal in length to the 55-me­tre Heesen, the new Quinta Essen­tia boasts 873 gross tonnes of vol­ume, ver­sus 781. Then there’s that sig­na­ture dark red stripe on the hull. The old one had one too but some­how it was ex­e­cuted in a more ret­i­cent man­ner, the new one’s grown more as­sured. Of course, the rich Chi­anti red and cool, white Pinot colours are not a de­signer’s whim – they re­flect the owner’s de­sire to repli­cate their love for Tus­cany, where they own a siz­able vine­yard as well as an es­tate that pro­duces olive oil. Rome-based Michela Re­ver­beri, who de­signed the in­te­rior on the first Quinta Essen­tia, re­alised early on that this might be the most dif­fi­cult project she’d ever done. Not only did the own­ers want to carry for­ward the same theme that had de­fined the Heesen (namely, em­ploy­ing the four el­e­ments of earth, air, fire and wa­ter as the de­sign’s key blocks) but they also wanted the grapes, olives and ru­ral wildlife of Tus­cany ex­pressed through­out the in­te­rior. Quinta Essen­tia trans­lates as the “fifth el­e­ment”. In an­cient phi­los­o­phy, it was called “ether” and con­sid­ered the uni­verse’s high­est el­e­ment, the con­stituent mat­ter of heav­enly bod­ies, and present in all mat­ter. “They wanted their yacht to be a syn­the­sis of the four el­e­ments and be­come this higher el­e­ment, the Quinta Essen­tia,” ex­plains Re­ver­beri. Images of grapes and olives in every room could have eas­ily gone amiss if it wasn’t done right and Re­ver­beri was acutely aware of this fact, so she set out with the lofty ob­jec­tive that this boat had to be noth­ing short of a mas­ter­piece. Mov­ing from one room to the next shows just how far Re­ver­beri stretched the Tus­can theme. Each wall cov­er­ing, each piece of fur­ni­ture and each art­work is cus­tom-made, and every room re­tains a dis­tinc­tive look with­out ever los­ing the over­all theme. Crown

mould­ing and stuc­cos in the up­per sa­lon, fres­cos painted on the ceil­ing of the owner’s suite, and cen­turies-old wood from Ital­ian palaces in­laid into mar­ble tiles pro­vide much of the in­te­rior’s Florentine feel­ing. Del­i­cate, hand-painted silk wall­pa­per by Fro­men­tal adds to the el­e­gance of the in­te­rior. “Ev­ery­thing had to be well-bal­anced to al­low the four el­e­ments to co-ex­ist,” she says. Choos­ing the right ar­ti­sans was key and in­volved the ser­vices of sev­eral spe­cialised con­trac­tors. The din­ing ta­ble, for in­stance, com­bines the tal­ents of a mas­ter stone carver, car­pen­ter and up­hol­sterer. The so­fas, cov­ered in velvet, have backs in carved leather, the work of Lon­don-based artist He­len Amy Mur­ray. The stair­case that con­nects the three main lev­els fea­tures a stun­ning mu­ral in metal resin with enamel and real feather in­lays by Based Upon, from Lon­don, and en­graved clear glass by Bernard Pictet, from Paris. “Some fea­tures – like that wall – have pat­terns and colours that rep­re­sent the move­ment of wine in a glass,” says Re­ver­beri. “Noth­ing in the yacht is hid­den and ev­ery­thing was de­signed to co-ex­ist just as the four el­e­ments do.” Be­yond the in­te­rior, the Sergei Do­broser­dov ex­te­rior and naval ar­chi­tec­ture by Vri­pack were ground­break­ing de­signs. Quinta Essen­tia has about a third more in­te­rior vol­ume than most 55-me­tre su­pery­achts, while her Aux­ilia elec­tric-diesel hy­brid propul­sion (con­sist­ing of two gen­er­a­tors and two elec­tric mo­tors, con­nected to the pro­pel­ler shafts and to the boat’s two MAN diesel en­gines via a clutch) de­liv­ers a top speed 16 knots, or 9.5 knots on elec­tric power alone. “At 10 knots, the ves­sel has a range of 6,500 nau­ti­cal miles which is al­most un­lim­ited,” says Mar­ija Pove­cerovska of Nakhi­mov Man­age­ment, which over­saw the build. “The de­sign also makes the yacht in­cred­i­bly quiet and vi­bra­tion-free. You can hardly feel her mov­ing when she is un­der way.” In­deed, noise lev­els in the owner’s cabin at an­chor are 39 dba, about the same as a li­brary. At cruis­ing speed, they’re pretty much equiv­a­lent to a ru­ral area at night. Re­ver­beri also used thick silk car­pets to ab­sorb the sound of foot­steps and hefty doors to help close out any re­main­ing sounds. “I al­ways try to op­ti­mize the im­pact on all the senses,” she says. “Just like light, sound is one of these crit­i­cal el­e­ments.” Quinta Essen­tia, re­cently listed for 34,500,000 USD, is more than the sum of its parts thanks to a very per­sonal vi­sion. And on the prac­ti­cal side, it can ac­com­mo­date up to 12 guests in six cab­ins in­clud­ing a pala­tial mas­ter suite on the main deck and a VIP cabin with 180 de­grees panoramic views on the up­per deck.

Quinta Essen­tia has about a third more in­te­rior vol­ume than most 55-me­tre su­pery­achts.

Above and op­po­site: Quinta Essen­tia’s name of­fers a glimpse of the de­tailed brief the own­ers gave to the yacht's de­sign­ers – they wanted to rep­re­sent the four el­e­ments con­sid­ered in West­ern cul­ture as the essence of life (earth, air, fire and wa­ter) and use them as “build­ing blocks” for the fifth el­e­ment, their yact. They also added a fur­ther layer of com­plex­ity by ask­ing that their love of Tus­cany, its cul­ture and coun­try­side, and their own olive or­chard and vine­yard, be clearly rep­re­sented through­out the dé­cor. Achiev­ing their vi­sion re­quired an as­ton­ish­ing level of crafts­man­ship.

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