Against the Flow

Ipanema’s Fer­rari-red hull and busy in­te­rior may not ap­peal to every­one, but for her owner she is a dream come true.

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The ruby-red hull of the 49.2-me­tre Ipanema helped make her one of the most strik­ing new launches at last year’s Monaco Yacht Show – the head-turn­ing colour ap­par­ently cho­sen to match her Mid­dle Eastern owner’s lim­ited edi­tion La­fer­rari (one of just 499 built). It is, at least to our rec­ol­lec­tion, the first yacht to ref­er­ence the fa­mous pranc­ing horse brand since the Riva Fer­rari 32 of the early 1990s. And though five times larger in size, Ipanema was also built in Italy (at Mon­do­ma­rine’s Cantieri Navali Cam­panella ship­yard in Savona) and sim­i­larly fea­tures a pow­er­ful, sportscar-like ex­te­rior, char­ac­terised by a shal­low slop­ing stern line and bold, cut­ting shapes in the su­per­struc­ture pro­file. Her in­te­rior on the other hand, is un­like any­thing we could have imag­ined. High-gloss ma­hogany, col­umns, friezes and bas-re­liefs abound, and more than a dozen dif­fer­ent kind of mar­bles were used in a ca­coph­ony of colours and ma­te­ri­als as­sem­bled by in­te­rior de­signer Hot Lab. Yet, though she stood in heavy con­trast to the min­i­mal­ist in­te­ri­ors of the boats sur­round­ing her in Monaco, it only took a lit­tle bit of time on­board be­fore we gained an ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the fear­less­ness of this de­sign di­rec­tion. Sur­pris­ingly, very few cus­tom su­pery­acht own­ers ever dare go "all the way" in fol­low­ing their dreams. More of­ten than not, they choose to go with taste­ful, muted and safe in­te­ri­ors that look more like mod­ern ho­tel suites than bold per­sonal state­ments. Not Ipanema how­ever. De­spite the 'what the heck' look on the faces of many of my col­leagues at the su­pery­acht’s me­dia un­veil­ing, I came to ap­pre­ci­ate the eclec­tic na­ture of her in­te­rior. “We must have eas­ily spent twice the time that we typ­i­cally al­lo­cate to con­ven­tional in­te­ri­ors,” says An­to­nio Ro­mano, one of Hot Lab’s three founders. The Mi­lan­based com­pany has be­come one of the most sought-af­ter firms in the su­pery­acht world. Ca­pa­ble of work­ing a mul­ti­tude of styles, it has de­signed yachts for all the most im­por­tant yards in­clud­ing Oceanco, Fead­ship, CRN, and Benetti – and no two are ever alike. For ex­am­ple, though both em­body a cer­tain homey qual­ity, the in­te­rior of the 40-me­tre mo­to­ry­acht Divine, which won a World Su­pery­acht Award in 2016, is soft and clas­si­cal, and in stark con­trast to the much edgier, con­tem­po­rary look of the 45-me­tre Keyla, which won a sim­i­lar de­sign award for the best re­fit of 2014. The Ipanema project came with an en­tirely dif­fer­ent set of pa­ram­e­ters. The owner wanted a “clas­sic” look, which in his mind trans­lated as a full-on ode to Re­nais­sance de­sign. To achieve this vi­sion, En­rico Lu­mini, lead de­signer on the project, ex­ten­sively re­searched ma­te­ri­als and colours of the Re­nais­sance and Baroque pe­ri­ods. “Be­fore ar­riv­ing at the fi­nal de­sign, we tried some­thing a bit less clas­si­cal,” says Ro­mano. But the owner was set on an in­te­rior that un­apolo­get­i­cally re­flected his colour­ful and nu­anced taste. “He went into the small­est de­tails, from the tiles in the sun­deck pool to light switches, lamps, even the door han­dles,” Ro­mano ex­plains. “You know, most cus­tomers don’t have a lot of time to get into the nit­tygritty of their yacht’s de­sign. But from day one,

his at­ten­tion to Ipanema was 100 per cent. He wanted ev­ery­thing cus­tomised.” The ex­ten­sive list of ma­te­ri­als in the scheme is most im­pres­sive. More than a dozen mar­bles, dif­fer­ent types of onyx, ma­hogany and other hard­woods and count­less fab­rics went into the in­te­rior. In all, more than 37 pat­terns and tex­tures were used across the two sa­loons, five state­rooms and util­ity rooms. Mon­do­ma­rine also or­dered seven types of silk and wool car­pet­ing to match the in­di­vid­ual de­sign of each room. Cus­tom Mu­rano lamps, hand-painted porce­lain light switches and even metal handrails had to be spe­cially cre­ated. “Ev­ery­thing was de­signed from scratch,” says Ro­mano. “You’ll never find other car­pets or frames like th­ese.” Hot Lab’s de­sign also in­cluded tech­ni­cal de­tails that add to the yacht’s grandeur. “We were able to add to the per­cep­tion of size in the master suite by us­ing a very large shower in the bathroom and in­cor­po­rat­ing a sky­light over the bed,” says Ro­mano. To keep it co­he­sive, Hot Lab used geo­met­ric pat­terns across the board to tie the gamut of colours to­gether. “Each of the four guest rooms has its own colour,” says Ro­mano. “We have red, yel­low, or­ange and blue. We fig­ured the owner would tell guests they were sleep­ing in the blue room or red room. But that meant we had to match each room with a dif­fer­ent type of mar­ble and spe­cific fab­rics to stay con­sis­tent with the colour scheme.” The de­sign­ers achieved a level of uni­for­mity in the com­plex colour scheme by us­ing the same blood-red flower mo­tif across the yacht. The red flower, which the de­sign­ers found in a Re­nais­sance paint­ing, ap­pears 60 times in Ipanema, typ­i­cally on the top of the lac­quered black col­umns. While the in­te­rior was key for this oneof-a-kind owner, he also wanted ex­te­rior mod­i­fi­ca­tions to Hot Lab’s orig­i­nal M50 con­cept. The M50’s strong pro­file and Fer­rari red – the owner’s happy colour – were non-ne­go­tiable. So to em­pha­sise the sporty, rac­ing look, Hot Lab added black win­dows and an oys­ter-white su­per­struc­ture. And be­cause the owner had an 8.2-me­tre Mon­terey power­boat that he wanted as the ten­der, the planned large beach club at the stern and ten­der garage in the hull side had to go. In­stead, Mon­do­ma­rine cre­ated a deep ten­der garage at the stern, re­plac­ing the beach club and giv­ing ex­tra in­te­rior space. The yard also added four col­umns to sup­port the deck above to sup­port three jet skis, hid­ing the lift­ing crane into the fur­ni­ture. The re­sult is a su­pery­acht cus­tomised far be­yond most, ex­em­pli­fy­ing the ul­ti­mate lux­ury of get­ting ex­actly what you want. Sure, this large Mon­do­ma­rine may not be every­one’s cup of tea, but in the end, there is only one per­son who needs to love her – the owner.

Above: The high-gloss ma­hogany pan­elled sa­loon boasts full-height win­dows run­ning along the en­tire main deck. Most un­usu­ally it fea­tures chintz sofas and arm­chairs be­neath mir­rored ceil­ing pan­els. Right: Ca­pa­ble of reach­ing 19 knots, Ipanema has a trans-at­lantic range of 3,500 nau­ti­cal miles at 12 knots.

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