LUCA DINI Design & Architecture, based in the Italian city of Florence, has been tasked with styling the interior of Heesen Yachts’ 55-metre Project Gemini (YN 19755), which is scheduled for delivery in October next year. Simon Wittenberg caught up with Luca Dini to find out more about the superyacht sold last month via Arcon Yachts.
Luxurious Magazine: This is your first collaboration with Heesen Yachts. How did it come about?
LD: As is often the case in our world, it came about thanks to fortunate encounters and positive exchanges with a few people working on Heesen’s new projects. It was an opportunity that I jumped at with great enthusiasm.
LM: Project Gemini follows on from the Solemates and Pollux yachts. Does the interior design for Gemini draw any inspiration from its twin half-brothers?
LD: I must admit that, while I was trying to understand the world of Heesen, its soul, its field of action, I tried to avoid being conditioned by the styles of previous builds. I wanted instead to transform the shipyard’s expectations and create an interior with its own character.
LM: What were the main elements of the brief for the styling of the living quarters of Project Gemini?
LD: It’s the first time that our studio has worked on a speculative yacht build. I’ve always worked on full custom boats and had a direct exchange with the owners. Here the objective was clear – the style needed to be defined, different, unique, and pleasing to as many individuals as possible and reflect the client’s style whilst embracing their own personal taste and personality.
LM: The ceilings are lined with fabric, which sits above the marine leather wall panels and doors. What are the key considerations when choosing such opulent materials?
LD: These elements actually naturally complement the strict and ordered geometric structure of the interiors. I wanted there to be an elegant and reassuring narrative, light but dense, and consistent with the shape of the spaces. The softness and texture of the fabric and leather come together with the lines to give a physical dimension to the abstract design.
LM: The master bathroom in the owner’s apartment has a freestanding black bathtub. What does this represent, and where was it sourced from, as this is a real statement feature?
LD: We fell in love with the idea of this small semitransparent piece of treasure (Antonio Lupi, Reflex); it’s almost a semi-precious stone, in stone, a beautiful Invisible grey gold marble. In addition, the material creates a special play of light that bounces off the water with reflections and shadows.
LM: As the yacht is still in construction, are you working closely with Omega Architects (the exterior designers) at every stage of the build?
LD: Gemini is, in fact, the third of a series, and therefore it’s already been fine-tuned and assessed and is a fully functioning mechanism. We have met with Omega Architects, and we collaborate with pleasure, which is as it should be between colleagues who are working on a project together!
LM: How do you determine the order of furnishing the superyacht? Where do you start, and do some of the interior elements have to be installed at various stages of the build?
LD: A yacht is a complex and technological organism. It requires its phases of research, design, and engineering. With Heesen, every step of the process has been wonderfully professional, from the creative phase to the meticulous sampling, to drawing up the final detailed and verified designs. In fact, visiting the shipyard is a joy.
When we get to our stage, we always begin with the leathers, all the vertical surfaces, ceilings, and then the decking. The installation and fixtures of major furniture are always assessed and planned in advance. Then we install the “built-in” furniture, followed by the freestanding furniture, and finally the decorative textiles, tableware, linens, accessories, art, and the most suitable floral compositions.
LM: What is your favourite part of Project Gemini?
LD: I have a weakness for the owner’s cabin – it’s a really splendid suite with a view overlooking the water. There are open and multifunctional spaces and eye-catching freestanding furniture of high quality. On the whole, the interiors are very appealing and harmonious – I would be delighted to spend time in them myself.
LM: What are some of the other stand-out projects that your studio has worked on?
LD: There are a lot of projects. I’ve stopped counting them…colleagues in the studio say that 78 yachts have been launched, with 13 more under construction, making a total of 91. There are few “top secret” ones as well… On top of this, we have just started a completely new adventure in our architecture department, which will be a great challenge.
LM: What’s next for LUCA DINI Design & Architecture? Is another Heesen superyacht in the frame?
LD: We are working on two new builds, one custom project, and a new concept. The cooperation is really enjoyable, a continuous exchange of expertise, culture, and objectives.
LM: Thank you for your time Luca, and it has been a pleasure speaking to you.
Luca DINI Design & Architecture and Heesen Yachts – Where and How?
For more information about Luca DINI Design & Architecture’s work on Heesen Yachts’ Project Gemini, visit www.heesenyachts.com.