Imperial Charter Fleet
Earlier this year, Imperial announced the official delivery of the 107-metre built by Benetti named LANA. This project is a real revolution for the Italian shipyard, as it is the very first 100m+ superyacht they ever launched.
Behind this masterpiece – two talented designers from Benetti: Michele Guerrieri and Mauro Izzo. In this article, their designers’ perspective is highlighted to understand more about the genesis of this superyacht.
It is thanks to a continuous communication between all parties involved and hard work that LANA is defined as unique. She is truly a superyacht that is like any other in the world! Bold, robust, masculine, and yet, still very elegant – this is how the designers describe LANA. Read below for more details.
LANA is currently available for charter, exclusively through Imperial. She will be cruising the Mediterranean Sea all summer.
Imperial Yachts: What approach did you each bring to the LANA project?
Mauro Izzo: I started with Benetti in 2001 as an architect in love with boats. Since then, I have always made sure I’ve been on board with every project, so I could examine each detail of the construction work as it moved forward. That’s been a major asset for me, as it has enabled me to understand exactly how a truly great yacht ought to be constructed – and on a yacht like LANA, which is 107 metres in length, with vast interior spaces and huge scope for potential design solutions, that experience-driven clarity of thought has been vital.
Michele Guerrieri: I have dealt with hundreds of customers and realised more than 22 yachts with Benetti in the last 20 years. But LANA represents quite a new design approach for me; one in which the build process has been a shared experience; one that has involved an ongoing succession of dialogues and modifications, enabling the final yacht to emerge almost organically, like a living entity. It’s taken great patience and coordination to achieve that but the results are magnificent.
IY: What was the nature of the LANA brief?
MI: This particular client was very ambitious and wanted something unique to him and his own way of living. He had a right to expect that from Benetti, so I tried to interpret his taste and realise his opinion with a really timeless interior design. Sometimes, when you visit a beautiful yacht repeatedly, the attractiveness of it can diminish with time. The sense of gratification can be a bit short-term. But whether you consider LANA’s design to be classic, contemporary or modern, there’s no doubt that it makes the owner very proud and will continue to do so for as long as he chooses to keep her.
MG: Yes, right from the start, it was a very different kind of project. The artistic wit that has always prevailed in my projects for Benetti has tended to be based on a stylistic or conceptual approach. Here, however, the approach was both more psychological and more spatial. It was about generating a yacht that would embody the essence of the client’s personality. He was powerful, precise, firm and confident during every one of the project’s phases, from the designing of the lines to the definition of the spaces and their functionality. This is the reason for the yacht’s distinctive character. It’s delicate and cultivated but at the same time very forthright. The extreme horizontal lines give it a very robust, masculine persona, while the three-dimensional elements add fluidity and elegance to that.
IY: So what exactly makes LANA special?
MG: In terms of the external structure, Benetti’s style is expressed partly in the seamlessness of the stylistic union between the hull and the superstructure; and partly in the unique individuality of what I like to call her ‘orchestral rhythm’. That starts with the three-dimensional elements on the sides, which then rise upwards to the point where they are closed as a crown by the mast. And it also consists in the very sharp, horizontally stretched design, which optimises her grace and divorces her from the conventions of mainstream trends.
MI: From an interior perspective, I feel quite similar. I don’t like fussy objects and endless detail. There needs to be a balance – not too much, not too little, but everything has to be special. You see that very clearly on board LANA in places like the foyer, where we designed a spectacular floor-to-ceiling chandelier. We went through ten different renderings before settling on the one the client wanted and the results are amazing. At six metres in length, it’s not so much a lighting feature as an architectural element of the boat – and just as everywhere else on LANA, when you’re in this space, it doesn’t feel weighed down with detail. It just feels very special; very unique. It’s a place of authentic individuality and character.
IY: In what way is LANA particularly suited to charter?
MG: LANA has been designed to prioritise both privacy and comfort. The positioning of the owner’s area on the upper deck guarantees plenty of private intimacy away from the guest and crew areas. And comfort is guaranteed by the thoughtful definition of specific areas for relaxation, for fun, for conviviality and for clean and simple operability. Both the guest and the communal areas adhere to the general idea that everyone on board should be able to enjoy the very best services while feeling as relaxed as they might in their own homes – and that’s the perfect solution for great charter.
MI: To help with that relaxation, LANA certainly features plenty of charter-friendly facilities, like a superb beach area plus a large hammam, a spacious spa zone, plenty of outside spaces and a huge pool on the sun deck. But it’s also important to understand that the internal proportions are completely different to most yachts. The ceiling, for instance is 2.7 metres high, which makes it feel more like a house than a yacht and we’ve taken advantage of that with the design. She’s certainly a very luxurious place, but it feels very natural to sit down and relax. You’re not worried about occupying the space. It’s luxurious without being aggressive; it’s opulent but accessible and charter guests will enjoy that just as much as the owner.
IY: What kind of charter destination would be best suited to LANA’s talents?
MI: Given the scale and variety of her external spaces, she lends herself very naturally to somewhere warm. I certainly see LANA doing a wonderful job in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, the Far East or the Indian Ocean.
MG: That’s’ true but she’s such a capable yacht, it almost doesn’t matter where you are. She’s stable and fast with a long cruising range and she comes with every kind of service you can imagine from a spa to a cinema and a touch-and-go helipad. LANA is a sea-lover’s fantasy hotel, wherever in the world she happens to be.
IY: What is the most satisfying part of LANA’s design for you?
MI: I love the foyer with its beautiful chandelier. I love the use of materials too. We’ve used natural wood, plenty of leather, lots of engraved glass and stainless steel – and we’ve used several types of varnishing to create different effects. It means you can walk on board and recognise that, while each area feels special in its own right, there remains a lovely continuity throughout the entire yacht. Having said that, the single most satisfying thing for me is much simpler. LANA is as unique as she is spectacular and that is exactly the way the client always envisioned it.
MG: I’m just tremendously proud of what LANA has become and of what she represents. For me, she is a fulcrum in my professional path. She has enriched me with a new way of approaching the design phase in a more psychologically astute and synergetic way. She has allowed me to embrace enormous spaces and to allow them to become slowly defined and animated in their most perfect form. As a result of that approach, LANA is truly timeless and I believe she will go on to be recognised as an icon.