Yacht design is a precise and challenging feat, one that the industry holds in high regard. YATCO recognizes the hard work and dedication of these professionals and has taken the time to speak with some highly esteemed yacht designers to bring you the latest trends. Below we present you an interview with Antonio Romano of Hot lab.
Featuring HOT LAB, an Italian Superyacht Design Company
Please tell us about yourself, your company, and some recent projects that you are working on.
Hot Lab was established in Milan in 2004 by Antonio Romano and Enrico Lumini, respectively marketing and design manager. This dynamic partnership promptly put itself to the test, developing projects that stand out for their painstaking formal research and sober and elegant styling. Hot Lab’s work benefit some of the most prestigious shipyards and refined owners who are accompanied and advised throughout the entire design and construction process of their yachts. In little more than a decade, the design studio has emerged at the front of a very complex and competitive sector, giving life to the shared objective of the partnership: to work for clients who are proud to own a Hot Lab designed product.
Their lead came about not only from hard work, but also in virtue of the dual soul symbolized in the two words that compose the studio’s name: passionate about everything that pertains to client relations and the more romantic aspect of a job that always begins with a pencil and a blank sheet of paper; experimental and technological about the use of advanced software for everything down to the smallest detail.
The studio has received several international awards, including many World Superyacht Awards and ShowBoats Design, in addition to the World Yachts Trophies and Finest Interior Awards, and can boast of consolidated relationships with both Italian and foreign shipyards that work from the studio’s interior and exterior designs on both custom and series produced yachts.
“Actually we’ve six projects currently in build: two units of the new 43-metre Columbus Atlantique (interior and exterior) in a coupé and fly deck version (the first 47-metre Atlantique has also been sold); an ISA Extra X96 and an Extra X76 (interior); a 33-metre custom Navetta (interior and exterior) for AES shipyard in Turkey; and a 43-metre motor yacht (interior and exterior) for a private client also being built in Turkey.”
Ongoing projects include the 50-metre Aries explorer yacht (exterior and interior) started on spec by RMK Marine in Turkey; a top secret 98-metre concept for Oceanco; the recently unveiled 65-metre Neptune concept for Turquoise; and a 50-metre explorer concept for Tankoa.
What are some design trends you are seeing this year?
More than trends I think that will be better to say new way of living. For sure the outside spaces are much more taken in consideration, so the inside/out areas of the yachts will be implemented with new upcoming function. This is actually one of the main design points of the Hot Lab philosophy “architecture for voyagers”.
Another interesting idea, that is now part of all our new projects, is about the open plans and the double heights:
“A yacht is NOT a building. It can be considered a luxurious villa, even a prestigious duplex apartment in some cases, but it is not the sum of an infinite number of layers. Each deck cannot live its own separate life and functions, but in the new modernity it must be part of a whole: no visual boundaries, no limits in interactions, flowless functionalities.”
Using this approach having two, three or more spaces dedicated to the same scope is no more neither needed, nor desirable, and it give us the chance to play with heights or double heights: a living room can look out on a lower deck and the two of them become a “singularity”, a modern, multi- functional, complex space.
What do you foresee as the future in yacht design?
“We’re slowly showing to our clients a new vision and a new approach to the internal and external spaces of their yachts. One example is about having “a green terrace on the roof”, and spaces designed as loggias and dedicated to plants.”
The terraces are certainly a functional tool for the distribution of spaces and for the interaction between decks. The terrace represents one of Le Corbusier’s five points, the so called roof garden.
It is described as: “The real garden of the house will not be on the ground, but three meters and fifty meters above it: this will be the suspended garden where the soil is dry and healthy, from which you will see the whole landscape, much better than from below”.
We want to bring this significant meaning into our new design approach: terraces and the huge amount of green they may contain, cannot be “placed” afterwards, but must be considered as an essential element included into the original concept.
Tell us about your most interesting project to date.
Always the next one!