A floating palace called Symmetry
BY ANJA FAHS
They are the mesmerising focal points of every port and marina across the globe: super-yachts. They supposedly represent strength, power and wealth. But if we look around international yacht shows, it quickly becomes clear that it is no longer just about size – it is above all boat-building design that has become the success factor. To this end, there is ever-greater competition as a result of rising demand. Correspondingly, there is an increasing number of ships being placed on the market at ever-shorter intervals. Add to this the fact that the owners are fulfilling life dreams with their yachts, which makes the appearance of the ships and customised fixtures and fittings incredibly important. Currently, new niche products, new styles and new trends are being created. Modernity, innovation and unusual design are also on the rise.
The most extraordinary design was recently unveiled by Dutch company ‘Sinot Exclusive Yacht Design’ at the Monaco Yacht Show: Symmetry. This 180-m luxury yacht comes with a new symmetrical design and is able to manoeuvre in both directions. Sander J. Sinot, founder of Sinot Exclusive Yacht Design, explains the revolutionary concept.
Symmetry’s unique layout transcends traditional boundaries of yacht design. What exactly is so revolutionary?
Sander J. Sinot: With Symmetry, we made a variation on the traditional linear set up, which is the standard for floating objects since ancient times. Building a yacht up from the centre, instead of using the traditional linear set up, is something that has never been done before. Just a glance at Symmetry shows its revolutionary character; inside you find a strikingly spacious, well balanced and symmetrical built up which is a showcase of the next step in mega-yacht design. Last but not least, the symmetrical shape of the hull allows for a bi-directional course at sea, tight manoeuvres and pivoting, ensuring comfortable tender transfers on the lee side of the lower deck’s mid-ship beach lounge.
What additional advantage does the Symmetry have over a traditional linear set up?
S. J. S.: Space, space and space! Thanks to the symmetrical set up and the symmetrical shape of the hull, Symmetry can accommodate the owner and his guests in a way that is rarely shown in mega-yacht design. Symmetry has six decks and 180 m of length at a beam of 29 m and provides an interior space volume of over 18,000 GT and an exterior deck space of over 1,000 m2.
How did the symmetrical set up help to create a lot of space?
S. J. S.: Imagine to cut two yachts at the widest part in half and gluing those parts together; by doing that, you get the most conceivable space at the middle of the yacht. That is truly amazing, and even better: it means space at the most useful possible part of the yacht.
How many guests can easily be accommodated here?
S. J. S.: The guest capacity of Symmetry is 34 people. We created twelve guest cabins, four VIP cabins and one owner state room. The crew capacity is 48 people with four single crew cabins, eighteen double crew cabins, three staff cabins, three officer cabins, one first officer cabin and one captain’s cabin.
Symmetry is a concept yacht – but did you have a special kind of owner in mind by creating this wonderful ship? Which owner will suit for it?
S. J. S.: One of the inspiring aspects of the yachting world is the passion and dedication of the owners. Of course, there are differences in taste and usage, but all owners I had the pleasure to work with were strong personalities who were looking for something tailor-made for them, the very best quality and, of course, what offers them the best possible time to share with their family and friends. Next to this, I can imagine the future owner of this amazing project is a man or a woman who is not afraid to stand out and be part of this great new chapter in yachting history.
The design is based on harmony. What does that mean?
S. J. S.: In my view, every great design is harmonious, well balanced. So Symmetry is based on harmony, not on formal symmetry. I tried to create a synergetic balance of functionality, beauty, engineering and design. So this is harmony throughout the whole project.
The yacht has six decks – each one with its specific function and character. Tell us about the different deck concepts.
S. J. S.: With six decks, Symmetry has exterior deck space of over 1,000 m2. Every deck has indeed a specific function and character: the beach deck with a mid-ship beach lounge featuring a seawater pool / float in tender bay; the guest deck with a spectacular mid-ship pool with a glass bottom, multiple spacious VIP rooms with en-suite lounges and balconies; the hotel deck contains many guest facilities such as an extensive spa, dining, lounges, bars, garden, gym and a 17-m exterior pool. The wheelhouse has dual steering arrangements to accommodate bi-directional manoeuvrability; the lower deck contains a home theatre and a kids’ playroom. And, last but not least, the owner-exclusive deck where the owner state room, private spa, office, library, sky lounge and exterior deck with lounge seats and infinity water feature are located.
What are the most luxury features of that floating palace?
S. J. S.: You can think of every imaginable toy, source of entertainment or dining from the professional kitchen. But the most luxury feature of Symmetry is most definitely the time the owner will spend on this yacht with his friends and family.
I bet Symmetry comes with a bunch of exciting water sports toys?
S. J. S.: Of course! The ship has one 10-m limo tender, one 10-m sports tender, two 14-m day boats, one crew tender and six wave runners. And don’t forget, the symmetrical shape of the hull ensures comfortable tender transfers on the lee side of the lower deck’s mid-ship beach lounge.
How does Sinot work on creating the design of a yacht for a client? What are the main steps?
S. J. S.: Creation is a process, an exploration through goals, dreams, culture, taste and ambition. That’s why we excel in translating ideas into products and services. In order to achieve the best possible result, we work in a transparent way. For us, it is crucial to find the right and most productive way to cooperate with the client. We are known and highly appreciated for identifying and profiling organizations’ key features and their unique selling points. This enables us to make designs that fit the client seamlessly. As a result, we learned that a crucial fit with our client’s demands is much more important than a standard design process.
In the end, every design is a dialogue, a conversation between me, as a designer, and the client, for whom the project is mostly the result of many years of thinking, dreaming, planning. But please keep in mind that not only all of our designs are tailor-made; the design process also depends on the client and his specific wishes. Sometimes we spend much time together, looking at materials and mood boards, getting to know each other. In other cases, we hardly see the client and talk mainly to a representative or the captain. But with every project, we make sure our designs exceed the clients’ wishes and dreams.
What kind of trends do you see in luxury features of mega-yacht?
S. J. S.: Yachts are getting bigger, but it is definitely not only about size. Super-yachts get more personal, sometimes even eccentric, maybe due to the fact that the owners are younger and more self-made, so they don’t care about conventions, they make what they want. Another trend is that more and more people use their yacht as a private estate, a safe and discrete place to move freely over the world’s oceans, offering a safe and intimate spot to welcome beloved ones to indulge, work, play and enjoy life. And, last but not least, the last couple of years there is an important trend of sustainability that challenges both designers and builders to rethink materials, shapes and technology.
How did the super-yacht and mega-yacht market develop in the last years?
S. J. S.: The market for super-yachts and mega-yachts is still going strong; the demand for the better projects is strong as ever, in some cases people are able to make a profit on a project even before its maiden trip.
Can you remember a very crazy demand of a client?
S. J. S.: Demands are never crazy, sometimes they are challenging. We work for people with mostly strong ideas and opinions; as a designer I always enjoy discussing the way they want to create the yacht of their dreams and I always force myself to come up with ideas and solutions that surprise the client and exceed his/her expectations.
So what was the most challenging design you ever made?
S. J. S.: Symmetry, definitely! The bi-directional, revolutionary design forced me and my team to re-create the whole concept of a super-yacht. The implications were enormous, varying from the interior design up to the way the engines are placed in the hull. But after the first sketches we knew the design would be challenging, but definitely worth the result.
How many people are working for Sinot Exlusive Yacht Design to create owners’ dreams?
S. J. S.: Right now, we work with 45 people.
What would you love to design one day – apart from a yacht?
S. J. S.: We already design everything, not only the yachts. The subject is actually less important to me than the process of creating something. So the answer to that question is that I love the process of design.
Sander J. Sinot
Sander Sinot is founder and CEO of Sinot Exclusive Yacht Design, a world renowned super-yacht design company. Sander founded the company in the late 1990’s in The Netherlands, following a career in New York working for the legendary industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss.
This article was published in The Produktkulturmagazin issue Q2 2016. Picture credit © Sinot