Architect Patricia Urquiola Designs A Sanlorenzo Yacht Made For The Nomadic Life
Spanish architect Patricia Urquiola loves a challenge and her latest project is a good example; the Milan-based designer and her eponymous firm were enlisted to design the interior of the first SD96 yacht for Italian shipbuilding company Sanlorenzo. Having worked widely across the disciplines of architecture, interior and product design for nearly three decades, it is fitting that Urquiola launched her first yacht project—a motorboat as part of the new SD line—at the Cannes Yachting Festival in France in September.
The concepts of flexibility and modularity influenced Urquiola in creating how the interior spaces flow. By bringing her vision on board, she laid out the interior of the Sanlorenzo SD96 with transformability as its focus, making for a versatile interior that’s capable of evolving and continuously adapting to the needs of those who live on it.
Why did you decide to collaborate with Sanlorenzo group?
Patricia Urquiola (PU) I have always been very close to the sea. As a child, I used to spend weekends in the family home in Asturias in Spain, in front of a beach on the Cantabrian Sea, and the summer in our holiday home on Ibiza island.
When Sanlorenzo approached me, the company convinced me to start a collaboration because I understood their desire to look for a new path. The idea was to think about a boat with the same attention, comfort, customisation with which a house is designed, increasing the relationship with the sea, light, functionality and flexibility. But also to focus on research on hulls, environmental impact, efficiency and technology.
Could you explain your design concept for the Sanlorenzo SD96 yacht?
PU The concepts of transformability and flexibility have guided the entire project. The spaces have been designed to be able to serve multiple functions, accompanying the owner and his guests in the various moments that dictate the rhythm of the day or the seasons.
These include being able to eat or relax on the different decks, have multiple places of conviviality and functions like the home cinema, a living room that can be transformed into an additional cabin, a walk-in closet. It’s the best of what we would like from a house or an ideal hotel room while being in contact with the sea, which remains the centre of the sailing experience.
What are the architectural elements that characterise the interior of this yacht?
PU The central staircase that harmoniously connects the three decks of the yacht is almost like a periscope that also visually unites all the levels. The masking on the outside of part of the portholes on the hull, allows a cleaner and more orderly view of the boat. The widening of the dimensions of the master bedroom allows the creation of an important space dedicated to the owner. The choice of colours and materials, such as cannulated glass, brings more light and amplitude to all bridges. And the possibility of opening the upper deck to be in greater contact with the sea.
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What kind of atmosphere did you want to recreate in the various areas of the yacht?
PU The common thread is the sea, which was a great source of inspiration for the whole development of the concept. The materials, shapes and colours recall the marine world, creating a fluid and elegant space with natural colours. The visual constraints have been reduced to a minimum so that the sea becomes the absolute and constant protagonist, and direct contact with water was guaranteed in every environment. I’m thinking, for example, of the curved walls that allow the fluidity of the spaces or even of the parquet with curved biscuit pattern and round cane; all explicit references to the sea and its movement. And also overcoming functional constraints to adapt the boat to the needs of the personality of each owner, in order to make the boat as much as possible their own.
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What was the biggest challenge you faced on this project?
PU Using warm and quality materials in finishes and furnishings that must also have high technical characteristics. I wanted to offer visual, tactile and mental comfort, and at the same time to be focused on technology that allows the weight of materials to be lowered. The idea was to create a continuity between indoor and outdoor, and to double the perception of spaces.