An Italian luxury yacht builder has partnered with Hong Kong-based interior designers to create new bespoke “floating villas” targeting the wealthy in Hong Kong and Asia looking for an alternative form of holiday homes.
In an attempt to attract more buyers, the builder Sanlorenzo will be working with Hong Kong-based Steve Leung Designers to infuse luxury residential designs into the compact space of a yacht in an attempt to redefine and elevate the lifestyle among the region’s millionaires.
The new partnership will bring Leung and his team’s expertise to the rest of Sanlorenzo’s range of yachts through their “design to measure” style, according to Sanlorenzo, a shipbuilder founded in 1958 and based in Ameglia in northern Liguria region.
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“Yacht design has long been dominated by a Western lifestyle approach, which is very different from the way we live in Asia, especially in China,” said Leung, an architect and interior designer whose firm was engaged in the Novotel City project in Tung Chung and the Orchard Residences luxury apartments in Singapore, among others.
Simpson Marine Group, which represents Sanlorenzo in the regional yacht markets, has doubled its sales in Asia this year, including nine yachts by the Italian builder in Hong Kong. They contributed more than 60 per cent of the group turnover, according to its managing director Mike Simpson.
The pickup suggests the economic crisis from the Covid-19 pandemic has not done much damage to the wealth of the richer segment of the population. The number of millionaires in Hong Kong rose 22 per cent this year, while China’s billionaires have this year rebuilt their net worth to the size of the Russian economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Leung has previously designed the interiors for Sanlorenzo’s SX88 yacht, which measures 27m in length with four cabins with en suite bathrooms. It features a flybridge with barbecue facilities, while the indoor area has a traditional Chinese round-table dining area.
“During the entire design process of shaping a villa-like yacht, we reimagined the spatial configuration of the yacht based on the owner’s lifestyle, utilising the yacht mainly as a ‘floating space’ for social entertainment,” said Leung. “We also added a subtle Asian touch, especially in the seating zone of the living and the dining rooms, ensuring a comfortable capacity for big groups’ gatherings.”
Leung hopes the venture can establish another new take on the yacht design by integrating international lifestyle with local cultural features, to attend to local tastes.