Royalty of the Seas
“The decidedly innovative essence of this project, born from a perfect union between the two different worlds of yachting and civil architecture; the major difficulty was to make an already excellent product even better. If the shipyard’s identity is recognized universally as a sophisticated luxury product, then the Se77antasette ELEVATES yachting to a higher dimension than we have ever seen before, drawing on Romero’s skill and Benetti’s know-how”. — Vincenzo Poerio, Benetti CEO
As the first concept yacht designed for Benetti by award-winning international designer, Fernando Romero, the Se77 antasette embodies Benetti’s creative spirit.
Fernando confers with ELEVATE to share the milieu of intellectual craftsmanship and forward-thinking technology behind the yachts’ bold design.
ELEVATE: What was the inspiration behind the name of the yacht?
FERNANDO ROMERO: The name se77antasette comes from the Italian word for 77, settantasette. Due to the fact, that the superyacht is exactly 77 meters long, the name felt fitting. Not only that but by incorporating the length of the yacht into the name, it not only distinctly differentiated it from naming conventions, but it also helped to define the boat as one that breaks from design conventions, to further stand out as a state-of-the-art super yacht of the future.
ELEVATE: Describe the curve of the boat, and how you designed the flowing lines and what effect they have on how the yacht propels through the water?
FERNANDO ROMERO: We began the project by researching the history and evolution of the Benetti brand and how they have approached projects over the last century. It gave us the opportunity to encompass their process of yacht custom-build design.
Each of the Benetti’s vessels has similar iconic features that connect the superstructure decks on the side elevation. We took this motif and translated it into a contemporary element that continuously moves between all the tiers, structure, and interior arrangements. The shape resulted in a hexagon, known to be found in marine habitats as highly efficient patterns.
As non-naval architects, our inquest led us into discovering technologies from the military, vehicle and aerospace industries, such as the flat panel antennas integrated into the ship dome. Collaborating closely with the engineering team of Benetti instituted us to rethink many dogmas in yacht design. Most masts of boats typically hold the radars, antennas, and lights. Benetti’s operators worked with leading aerospace and marine suppliers to devise an entirely new way to hide the navigation system, without the compromise of control.
With regards to propulsion, the final configuration is made with five variable speed Caterpillar generators that allow the use of the full power available from the diesel engine as the speed is not limited to any rpm, and hence the required space is reduced. With this configuration, it was possible to keep the entire engine room on only one level, the under lower deck, allowing the lower deck to dedicate to accommodation entirely. Another advantage of the variable speed generators is the efficiency in sharing loads through the various operational modes (cruise, anchor). This power flexibility allows for getting lower exhaust emissions.
We wanted the ship to keep a congruous appearance. In the undertaking of this pioneered intent, we crafted a proprietary telescopic mast that is homologous in the glass dome, to allow a visually dynamic union that seamlessly carves into the structure, offering spatial proportions that enhance the close relationship between nature and sea.
ELEVATE: How do different spaces allow for more modern views on living?
FERNANDO ROMERO: Se77antasette stands out for the extreme adaptability of its spaces according to the needs of life on board. The stern entry deck, with three complete openings, can transform into a massive terrace that overlooks the surrounding sea, becoming an exclusive spa area dedicated entirely to relaxation. The ability to open up and embrace the sea or remain a closed, intimate space makes this one of the most exclusive areas on board. As such, we wanted to create adaptable spaces that not only accommodate the passengers but respond to how they want to experience life on the open seas.
ELEVATE: What would be the new dining and kitchen trends that come from concept to manufacture?
FERNANDO ROMERO: While the galley is still below the deck, because of shifts in lifestyles, we wanted to emphasize that food and entertainment are vital components of the yachting encounter. Comparable to dining at a restaurant with an open kitchen, we marinated the concept by placing a chef’s station into the dining area. Gastronomy is a visual art that enhances our mood; and therefore, the beauty and precision of seeing a meal constructed influences the overall guest experience. Providing the flexibility for the client to have different ways of entertaining and dining on their boat is the ultimate luxury.
ELEVATE: Can you talk about the contemporary aspects of the interior design?
FERNANDO ROMERO: As with everything we do, we strive to contextualize and translate the scenario for the project into the project. As such, our goal was to integrate as much nature into the yachting experience as possible. The observatory, on the upper deck, is the hidden crown of the yacht that emphasizes mesmerizing panoramas of the open sea underneath the stars. To integrate as many views as possible, we utilized high-performance glass slabs. The uprights contain air conditioning ducts to keep the temperature at humidity under control, while at night the dome can be used as an augmented reality screen, controlled by voice commands and movement sensors to inform on the position of the hull. Passengers can enjoy the serene view, away from the city’s light pollution.
ELEVATE: While the yacht is undeniably futuristic, I notice elements of wood which are prevalent throughout Se77antasette’s design.
FERNANDO ROMERO: As I mentioned, Context and translating that context into a design is the basis of our practice. By learning all the contributing factors, constraints, and potential opportunities of a given project through the iterative process allows us to discover what the design should be by translating historical, social, economic and environmental contexts into an iconic contemporary design. As such, referencing as many natural elements as possible led us to integrate a lot of wood into the project — referencing Benetti’s rich nautical tradition while simultaneously creating a connection to physical features on land, marine habitat, and the surrounding environment.
ELEVATE: How does lighting alter the mood of the yachting experience?
FERNANDO ROMERO: Clients use their boats to relax, entertain, do business and travel and they expect to have the same living experience as they do with their houses on the land. Hybrid electric propulsion and stabilizers help reduce the noise and rolling of the ship that environs a tranquil setting.
We thought a lot about conscious living during the design. We knew we wanted a hybrid propulsion engine for its low impact on the environment. The organic lighting structures, not only reduce electricity use but also create a more seamless experience between the passengers and the surrounding nature. With the recent innovations of LED lighting, not only are we able to reduce the energy consumption, but LED’s can be seamlessly integrated into the architecture to ELEVATE the ambiance.
“This extraordinary collaboration has seen FR-EE and Benetti successfully merge our collective expertise to realize a state-of-the-art superyacht, a new craft for the 21st century.” – Fernando Romero, Founder of FR-EE
Photos Courtesy of FR-EE