Ocean drive

Achille Sal­vagni decks out the ‘Aurora’ su­pery­acht for Rossi­navi

Wallpaper - - October -

The Aurora su­pery­acht makes waves

The world of yacht de­sign is used to high-pro­file cre­ative col­lab­o­ra­tions. Aside from the es­tab­lished de­sign­ers who have been helm­ing su­pery­acht projects for decades, many ma­jor ar­chi­tec­tural stu­dios have also turned their hand to nau­ti­cal trim­mings, no doubt lured by the big spec­i­fi­ca­tions, metic­u­lous de­tail­ing and gen­er­ous bud­gets typ­i­cal of this de­mand­ing in­dus­try. While ac­claimed prac­tices such as Fos­ter + Part­ners and Amanda Levete Architects are happy to dab­ble, other firms have made float­ing in­te­ri­ors and sleek craft their spe­cial­ity. One such designer is Achille Sal­vagni, whose Rome-based stu­dio Sal­vagni Ar­chitetti has gar­nered a clutch of awards for its work on land and off.

Sal­vagni’s lat­est cre­ation is a col­lab­o­ra­tion with the ship­builder Rossi­navi, based in Italy’s Viareg­gio su­pery­acht hub. Founded as the Rossi ship­yard in the 1970s, it be­came Rossi­navi in 2007, turn­ing out a small fleet of hulls ev­ery year from 45m and up­wards. Rossi­navi spe­cialises in alu­minium, build­ing high­per­for­mance boats with gen­er­ous in­ter­nal space and hull open­ings to bring in light and views.

‘Aurora’ was com­mis­sioned by a sport-lov­ing cou­ple who wanted clas­sic trans­port de­sign – par­tic­u­larly the tex­tures and ma­te­ri­als of vin­tage mo­tor sport – in an im­pres­sively scaled pack­age. The naval ar­chi­tect was Arra­bito, with ex­te­rior de­sign by Ful­vio De Si­moni. In­side, how­ever, was Sal­vagni’s realm. His brief was to dis­till the clients’ tastes into a co­her­ent whole. ‘The own­ers wanted the de­sign to en­hance their dy­namic and ac­tive life­style,’ the designer says, ref­er­enc­ing what he de­scribes as the ‘spa­tial flu­id­ity’ of the liv­ing ar­eas in the 49m yacht. In­spi­ra­tion also came from clas­si­cal sources, in­clud­ing the spa­ces shaped by the great baroque ar­chi­tect Francesco Bor­ro­mini.

‘There is a sense of move­ment that per­vades,’ Sal­vagni says, go­ing on to chron­i­cle the lev­els of de­tail that typ­ify a yacht project of this scope and scale. ‘We de­cided to con­trast the no­blest ma­te­ri­als in ev­ery el­e­ment of its in­te­rior, such as limed sycamore walls, dark pol­ished ti­neo de­tails, brushed nat­u­ral teak floors, hand-knot­ted silk car­pets, Car­rara Stat­u­ario mar­ble, gun­metal bronze and cus­tom light­ing.’ Ar­mies of crafts­men and women de­scend on Rossi­navi’s ship­yard, not just to build the hull but also to weave in hun­dreds of miles of wiring, elab­o­rate ma­te­ri­als and fin­ishes, and – most im­por­tant of all for a yacht – fix­tures and fit­tings that have tol­er­ances more akin to the auto in­dus­try than the ar­chi­tec­tural world.

A mod­ern yacht is the equiv­a­lent of the grand coun­try seat of cen­turies past

In many re­spects, a mod­ern yacht is the equiv­a­lent of the grand coun­try seat of cen­turies past, a blank slate upon which the cul­tural ob­ses­sions of the age can be ex­plored through out­stand­ing crafts­man­ship. ‘These clients are typ­i­cally in­ter­na­tional, with mul­ti­ple homes, are es­tab­lished col­lec­tors and have much more knowl­edge about de­sign. They are so­phis­ti­cated, with a taste level to match,’ Sal­vagni says. To make a mod­ern yacht a co­her­ent show­case of form and con­tent re­quires ex­cep­tional cu­ra­to­rial skills, not just the abil­ity to give it shape and get the most from ma­te­ri­als.

The de­sign and con­struc­tion of ‘Aurora’ was a three­year process, and the boat’s own­ers are now tak­ing in a Mediter­ranean sum­mer be­fore head­ing off to win­ter in the Caribbean. No coun­try es­tate ever had such flex­i­bil­ity – nor would it have had a me­chan­i­cally ex­tend­ing rear ‘beach club’, de­signed to sit flush with the wa­ter for easy bathing ac­cess. De­spite the bar­rage of tech on dis­play – in­clud­ing a re­cessed gym, a sauna, a cin­ema and a wine cel­lar – Sal­vagni is keen to stress the im­por­tance of hav­ing a wood-lined in­te­rior, both as a nod to tra­di­tional yacht de­sign and to dis­play the crafts­man­ship that might oth­er­wise be hid­den un­der mod­ern ma­te­ri­als. Those fluid lines posed a chal­lenge for the wood­work and the mar­ble, but time and en­ergy were lav­ished on this project un­til it was just right.

Un­der­stand­ably, the ship­yard it­self rel­ished such at­ten­tion to de­tail. ‘Achille has a high pro­file not only for his vi­sion but also be­cause of his way of de­sign­ing ev­ery­thing,’ says Fed­erico Rossi, Rossi­navi’s COO. ‘The de­sign is still func­tional and ev­ery­thing is in har­mony with our full cus­tom-build­ing phi­los­o­phy.’ Sal­vagni’s hard work has taken to the waves in a re­mark­able demon­stra­tion of co­her­ence and style.∂

WITH LINES IN­SPIRED BY CLAS­SIC CARS, THE 49M ‘AURORA’ HAS AN EX­TEND­ABLE REAR ‘BEACH CLUB’ AND A SE­CLUDED PRI­VATE DIN­ING SPACE ON THE MAIN SUN DECK

BOT­TOM, THE ‘BEACH CLUB’, WITH AC­CESS TO THE SWIM­MING PLAT­FORM

LEFT AND BE­LOW, THE IN­TE­RI­ORS FEA­TURE LIMED SYCAMORE WALLS WITH TI­NEO DE­TAILS AND GUN­METAL BRONZE AC­CENTS

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