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Winners of the 2019 Design and Innovation Awards Announced

By Katia Damborsky   28 January 2019

Held over the weekend in Italy, this year’s edition of the Design and Innovation Awards saw a stunning selection of superyachts take home prizes across a number of prestigious categories.

Bringing some of the industry’s most talented design teams into the spotlight, the Design and Innovation Awards honours specific aspects of superyacht design from luxury yachts launched in the preceding year.

Hosted in Cortina d’Ampezzo over the weekend, this year’s edition saw awards presented in categories including naval architecture, exterior design, deck layout and lifestyle features.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at a selection of the winners and their award-worthy features.

ELANDESS - Best Exterior Styling Motor Yachts 60m and Above

- Best Interior Design Motor Yachts 500GT and Above

- Best General Arrangement & Deck Design

- Best Lifestyle Feature

superyacht elandess at anchor with sky in background
corridor on board abeking and rasmussen superyacht elandess
neptune lounge or nemo lounge on baord luxury yacht elandess, with rows of soft seating and wide windows with views underwater
glass bottomed pool on sundeck of luxury yacht elandess, with seating area in background

Scooping up awards in four different categories, the 75m/244ft superyacht ELANDESS triumphed at the Design and Innovation Awards. The Abeking & Rasmussen build won awards for her fluid layout, innovative Neptune Lounge and her elegant exterior and interior design, both of which are the work of London-based design studio Harrison Eidsgaard.

The superyacht’s exterior features gently sloping lines which create complex contrasts between light and shadow, as well as wing stations which tuck in when not in use to preserve her sleek lines. Her straight bow is distinctive, and gives her a classic look with a modern upgrade. Meanwhile, the motor yacht’s interiors exude a refined and understated opulence, with details such as mother-of-pearl inlays in the central staircase and a glass-bottomed spa pool on the sun deck which casts shimmering light into the interior below.

The Abeking & Rasmussen build won awards for her fluid layout, innovative Neptune Lounge and her elegant exterior and interior design.

While DAR almost took home the gold for the ‘Best General Arrangement and Deck Design’, ELANDESS’ family-focused and unique layout gave her the winning edge. The judges noted that a curved corridor enhances the privacy of the owner’s suite, while the main staircase being separate from the lift reduces the likelihood of bottlenecks.

Finally, the superyacht was recognised for her Neptune Lounge, an exciting feature which the editorial team at YachtCharterFleet had the chance to experience first-hand when they stepped on board at the Monaco Yacht Show 2018. The grand scale of this submerged, underwater viewing lounge, coupled with the vast amount of comfortable seating, makes it a worthy winner of the Best Lifestyle Feature.

SOLO - The Game Changer

Superyacht SOLO underway, with woman on bow
Solo seating area on upper deck, with soft seating and shaded alfresco dining
salon area on superyacht Solo
aft deck of superyacht solo, with infinity pool in background and seating area beyond

A new category at this year’s awards, The Game Changer Award is presented to the superyacht that has pioneered new grounds in ecological design, new technology, materials and operation.

This highly-coveted title was bestowed upon the 73m/236ft charter yacht SOLO, Tankoa’s famously fuel-efficient and low-emission motor yacht.

The superyacht boasts a dedicated CO2 monitoring system, as well as specialised soot burners which ensure charter guests can enjoy the exterior aft decks and beach club in a clean, smoke-free environment.

In addition, the high-performance motor yacht offers a smooth and silent experience for yacht charter vacations, and her extensive range of high-tech amenities will ensure guests are suitably relaxed and entertained throughout their time on board.

DAR - Judges’ Commendation for Best Technical Achievement

Superyacht DAR from Oceanco underway
Intimate table seating on board luxury yacht DAR
Aft deck pool and waterfall feature on board luxury yacht DAR, with surrounding seating
Interiors of superyacht DAR, with windows flanked by glass vases and plant in centre in front of tall winow

The 90m/295ft superyacht DAR features a superstructure almost entirely clad with glass, and this accomplishment was easily enough to bestow the superyacht with a Special Commendation for Best Technical Achievement.

The Oceanco-built superyacht required 186 frameless glass panels to be integrated with the superstructure for the idea to be conceptualised, with Luiz de Basto heading up her exterior design.

The result is an exterior which gleams in the light, coupled with a predatory profile that draws parallels between DAR and a hammerhead shark; indeed, before she was launched, her working title was ‘Project Shark’.

Florence-based firm Nuvolari & Lenard are responsible for the motor yacht’s interiors, which follow themes inspired by the natural world.

The Design and Innovation Awards honours specific aspects of superyacht design.

IRISHA - Best Exterior Styling Motor Yachts 40m to 59m

luxury charter yacht irisha from heesen underway
alfresco dining set-up and soft seating area on motor yacht irisha
skylounge on board motor yacht irisha, with wooden table and L-shaped seating integrated into portside
winter garden area on irisha, with dining table adjoined by alfresco seating area

No doubt one of Heesen’s finest launches of 2018, the 51m/167ft superyacht IRISHA took home the gold for her eye-catching exterior styling in the motor yachts 40m to 59m category.

Her sleek and streamlined profile is the work of Harrison Eidsgaard, and features a raised wheelhouse that invites comparison to a fighter jet plane.

Encompassing a split-level design, the sundeck and wheelhouse are seamlessly connected with a sliding door and drop-down window which creates a continuous connection.

The editorial team at YachtCharterFleet had the privilege of stepping on board  to discover more about this stunning superyacht- read our review of IRISHA.

‘Vista Blue’ - Best New Production Yacht Design

vista blue underway
spa pool on sundeck of luxury yacht vista blue
main salon on board charter yacht vista blue
main deck area on motor yacht vista  blue

Presented to Custom Line’s 38m/126ft motor yacht ‘Vista Blue’, the Best New Production and Yacht Design Award honours innovation, aesthetics and potential commercial appeal.

With her state-of-the-art facilities and the ability to reach speeds of up to 25 knots, this motor yacht is a perfect balance of pioneering design and high performance. She is available for private yacht charters, and is perfect for those looking to feel at one with their surrounds.

A particularly alluring feature of the superyacht is her main salon, which is encased in wide glass panels which allow charter guests to gaze out over the views.

What’s more, the glass doors leading to the main deck aft can slide open and tilt upwards, creating a seamless indoor-outdoor area that earnt Vista Blue top marks from the judges.

‘Mimi la Sardine’ - Best Interior Design Motor Yachts Below 299GT

charter yacht mimi la sardine underway
mimi la sardine interior main salon
main salon on charter yacht mimi la sardine
interior bar area on mimi la sardine

Due to be join the charter fleet in the coming months, the 33m/110ft luxury yacht ‘Mimi La Sardine’ won Best Interior Design for the Motor Yachts Below 299GT category.

To create a relaxed, beach-club style ambience the interior design team at Nauta Yachts have maximised the natural light on board, as well as using a soft and neutral colour palette with plenty of blondewood and ocean-inspired accents.

She is an ideal option for private yacht charters, as she boasts a selection of lounging areas on the sundeck, accompanied by well-appointed social areas.

In order to find out more about chartering any of the charter yachts mentioned in this article, please get in touch with your preferred charter broker.


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