Italian yacht builder teams up with Hong Kong interior designers to create bespoke “floating villas” for wealthy Asians



a view of a city next to a body of water: Aerial view of the Marina Club in Discovery Bay in Lantau, where the developer has pledged to turn its marina into “Hong Kong's most exclusive” superyacht club. Photo: Roy Issa


© SCMP
Aerial view of the Marina Club in Discovery Bay in Lantau, where the developer has pledged to turn its marina into “Hong Kong’s most exclusive” superyacht club. Photo: Roy Issa

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.



a man wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: Hong Kong architect and interior designer Steve Leung is teaming up with Italian yacht builder to create


© Provided by South China Morning Post
Hong Kong architect and interior designer Steve Leung is teaming up with Italian yacht builder to create

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.



a boat sitting on top of a table: An interior of Sanlorenzo's SX88 yacht. Photo: Steve Leung Designers


© Provided by South China Morning Post
An interior of Sanlorenzo’s SX88 yacht. Photo: Steve Leung Designers

“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.

The price

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Ask the Builder: Venting a kitchen island sink

Q. My new kitchen is going to have a large island with my double-bowl sink in it. The young plumber and my contractor want to use some newfangled thing that just fits under the cabinet. They call it an AAV. They say it saves time and money.

My experience with many products like this is those words are synonyms for “shortcut and trouble-down-the-road.”

How would you install the sink drain pipes in my island if you were my plumber? I’m also interested in any other tips you can provide to make my new kitchen plumbing trouble-free for years. – Martha W., Rapid City, South Dakota

A. I’ve been a master plumber since age 29, and I have to chuckle at how perfectly Martha has summed up the issue! Some new building products are simply wonderful; many others are not that great. That said, I’m a big fan of not having moving parts in plumbing systems, so you’ll never see an air-admittance valve, aka AAV, on one of my jobs, nor would I ever use one in my own home.

An AAV is designed to allow fresh air into a plumbing system and not let sewer gas leak into your home. But sometimes they just don’t work right, and sewer gas can leak. I’ve had countless homeowners over the years send me emails complaining about this and asking how to eliminate the AAVs.

In situations like Martha’s kitchen island, where you simply can’t install a traditional vent pipe that is hidden behind the plumbing fixtures, the best solution is a traditional loop vent. These hidden vent pipes are connected to the drain pipes and eventually connect together up higher in your home and often exit the house through one or more little pipes you see poking through your roof.

The purpose of the roof vent pipes is to allow air into your plumbing system. When your plumbing drain system is not in use, all the pipes are filled with air except for the water that’s in the traps under sinks, tubs, showers, floor drains and toilets.

When you run water in a sink or flush a toilet, you add a volume of water to the system and in the case of a violent addition like a toilet flushing, the air in the pipes is forced through the system much like a bullet forces air out of a rifle barrel when you pull the trigger. This air must be replaced instantly through the roof vents, or the system will go hunting for the air and suck it through a sink or tub drain nearby the flushing toilet.

Perhaps you have heard this sucking or slurping noise from a tub or sink. This is an indication of a problem in your vent system, and sewer gas can enter your home via the trap that now has no water in it.

Here’s how the kitchen loop vent works. I’d love to meet the long-dead plumber that thought this through because it’s such a simple

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Boost New Home Builder Business With Superb Interior Shots

The photo quality of digital cameras, and even our phones, is improving practically daily, but the benefits of crisp, clear images from a professional photographer are unsurpassed. And with focus on websites, blogs and digital media, superb photography is vital. When shooting a model home or community, an architectural photographer develops images that highlight the stunning characteristics specific to a project.

So where exactly can you find an architectural photographer? How much do they cost? And what are the limitations as to how you can use the photos afterwards? Here is insight as to how to find the best photographer fit for a project and what a shoot might entail.

Finding a Photographer:

As always, word of mouth is a great way to find someone who can deliver quality photos. Industry professionals, such as interior merchandisers or architects, may have recommendations on photographers they trust to deliver shots that best suit the project.

Another great source is the highly respected website, Houzz, as they have a strong photographer network. The site is easy to use with features to narrow a search by state, which then shows recommended photographers within each region as well as their potential price.

The American Society of Media Photographers also helps narrow a search by location and the specialty of the photographer, making this useful to find one who works specifically with certain types of project.

Choosing the Right Photographer:

After developing a list of potential photographers, it’s important to view their portfolio of work. Is the quality of their images attractive? Do the photos allow the project’s stunning attributes to shine? What type of clientele has the photographer worked for in the past? And what type of work does the photographer typically shoot? These are all basic, but extremely significant, questions to assess when working to find a photographer that would best fit a project.

Another feature that needs to be discussed with a potential architectural photographer is their lighting capabilities and equipment, as they are of prime importance when shooting interiors. Depending solely on natural light does not “cut it.” Be sure to discuss how the photographer will enhance their interior shots with additional lighting.

Who Owns the Photos?

The photographer typically retains the copyright to his or her work, unless discussed differently prior to the shoot. Clients are granted the permission to use the photos for marketing and promotional purposes, but if photos are used by a third party, such as a magazine or publisher, the usage of the photos must be negotiated with the photographer.

The Day of the Shoot:

Depending on the size of the project, a shoot can either be as short as a half day or as long as two full days. A full day shoot will typically generate eight to 20 images, depending on the photographer, the amount of styling needed and the sunset during that time of the year – the natural light of the sun is a key element for photographers.

Styling the Shoot:

Having either …

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