Design Project Fincantieri Sundance
The Technology of Beauty
Penned in collaboration with the self-confessed non-conformist British designer Steve Gresham–who opened his own studio in 2014 after 20-years in the industry with companies like H2, Tony Castro, Don Shead and Williams Formula One–Sundance is not your run of the mill project. The marriage of a brave designer and shipyard that seeks to push boundaries in yacht building, based on technology and their experience in other sectors, has produced something quite special indeed! Spread over five decks, Sundance is a 90 m yacht that boasts 3,000 GT of volume and yet still maintains a light and sporty profile. From the gently curved plumb bow, delicately drawn lines flow playfully aft like the movement of a wave. An arcing knuckle line in the hull is echoed higher up on the owner’s deck, the gentle dynamic of these fluid shapes deliciously accentuated by contrast with the straighter sharpness of main deck bulwark and coaming above. Just one of the many unique features of this design is the reverse tumblehome of the sole-to-ceiling glazing for the 155 sqm central salon on the owner’s deck. Sloping outwards from the floor up, one could theoretically lean on the glass and gain a pretty unique perspective when staring down at the ocean below. From the sea below to the heavens above, Sundance’s main salon fulfills the description from top to bottom with light pouring in from a large circular glazed section in the ceiling. Discussing the project, the designer Steve Gresham told us, ‘I first worked with Fincantieri Yachts in 2006, the Engineers and Naval Architects within are ingenious and creative people, improving technology in the pursuit of building superyachts. The many challenges of building a large yacht are seen by the yard as an opportunity to create something of great beauty and the words ‘Technology of Beauty’ are indeed correct where Fincantieri Yachts are concerned.
Sundance pushes the boundaries in design for exterior and interior, the features and layout are truly original and I designed her specifically for Fincantieri Yachts understanding their philosophy of yacht building. Her proportions and balance are inspired and her superstructure sheer line, which runs like a ribbon from the bow to the stern above the saloon windows and around the yacht, define her beauty, the elliptical deck plans giving further finesse to the design.’ The demarcation of the general arrangement, as Gresham mentions, is unusual in that the main, owner’s and sky deck all make use of curved partitioning rather than the traditional linear pattern. The result is spaces that flow into each other, are considerably more interesting and lend a more organic than ‘strictly structured’ ambience to the yacht. As the Fincantieri team pour over the GA with us, they also point out the two different options available for the configuration of the lower deck. In the first a large tender garage dominates the aft section, providing dedicated space for a both a large limo and RIB tender, plus a smaller sportsboat and various watercraft. In this instance the beach club is positioned amidships on the starboard side, a novelty we’ve never come across previously and which makes sense in being upwind from any generator exhaust when at anchor. In the second option the tender garage for crew tender and watercraft is innovatively relocated to the starboard side amidships, leaving the aft section open to be used as a vast beach club. The second option allows for a bathing terrace to starboard and a shell door on the portside, from which the primary tender can be launched when the full beach club is in use. There’s so much to like about this design and between them Gresham and Fincantieri have included achievable innovation, but not simply for innovations sake. Based on some very efficient naval architecture Sundance is has a designed top speed of 18.5-knots, plus a range of 6,000nM at 14-knots, rather than the traditional 10 or 12-knots delivery speed, meaning more time onboard for the owner and less time at sea. Elegant, sophisticated and well-conceived we hope an owner can be found to commission this concept so that one day we’ll have the opportunity to lounge on the 250 sqm sky deck and remember when Sundance was simply just a fantastic proposal.