6 images

Luca Dini reveals interior secrets for brand-new yacht Reliance

17 March 2022 • Written by Risa Merl

"I must confess a secret,” says designer Luca Dini. What he is referring to is his first collaboration with Heesen Yachts, the 55-metre Reliance, previously known as Project Gemini,  which was one of two yachts sold by the Dutch yard Heesen this spring thanks to project managers Arcon Yachts introducing the client.

Due to be delivered in October 2022, the interior of the 760GT new build is now taking shape. “I have a weakness for the owner’s cabin," Dini continues. "With a wide view of the water, multi-functional spaces and attractive freestanding furniture of high quality, it’s the cabin where I’d most like to spend time," he adds. Set forward on the main deck, the palatial 82-square-metre owner’s suite is just one of the many inviting spaces on board a yacht whose entire interior entices you to unwind and stay a while.

The yacht, part of Heesen’s 55m Steel series, will feature exterior styling by Omega Architects and an advanced Fast Displacement Hull Form by Van Oossanen Naval Architects. Not only is Project Gemini the first collaboration between the Italian yacht designer and Dutch shipyard, it’s also Dini’s first time creating a boat that’s being built on spec. As such, the construction is already well underway at Heesen. An owner could take delivery of the new build in record time.

Dini, who had previously only worked with custom yachts, relished in the challenge of designing a spec boat. “The shipyard's objective was clear: the style had to be defined, different, unique but also enjoyable for as many people as possible and able to mould itself to the client's style and embrace their personal taste and personality,” he says.

The age-old question arose: how do you create an interior that is simple enough to be enjoyed by many but intriguing enough to be sought after by just one? The key, says Dini, was to create a truly timeless design. “We made the interiors broadly appealing but at the same time interesting,” he says. “It is soft and refined, with the same attention to detail as a custom boat. I wanted to create a luxurious but unobtrusive interior that was both elegant and modern.”

Instead of looking to previous Heesen Yachts for inspiration, he started with a blank slate and a fresh perspective. “I had two options: I could either understand the world of Heesen, its soul, its field of action and therefore reflect the style of previous constructions – or go my own way,” Dini says. “I chose not to be influenced by the styles of the previous Heesens. Instead, I wanted to transform the expectations of the shipyard and create an interior with its own character.”

In order to spark interest, the interior is defined by a linear, geometric shapes. Stripes outline the panels on all surfaces horizontally and vertically in each room and guide the eye through spaces. This is complemented by custom-made metal handles on the doors and furnishings, and large, mirrored surfaces that give a sense spaciousness. It is a sophisticated interior design that celebrates light and the indoor-outdoor connection.

The colour palette is staid and refined, with an abundance of creams and taupes. The overall harmony of soft, neutral and natural tones combines with contrasting hints of dark, pronounced metal. The toasted almond tone of the light Tay wood wall panelling is framed by a dark, deep oak. Some of the wood panels are embellished with patterns that make the surfaces more vibrant. Doors are upholstered in fine Italian leather, and the ceilings are covered in fabric. The use of marble gives the bathrooms a touch of luxury, while lacquered glass in natural amber and a variety of smoky, mirrored surfaces are used liberally to give the interior a bit of subtle glamour.

Dini feels confident that an owner will fall in love with Project Gemini just as she is. “I put a lot of passion into this boat,” he says. “Those who come on board and have the chance to experience this boat will eventually realise that there are very few details they will want to change...but if there is a real need, then the free-standing furniture could be modified and maybe even the finishes,” he says. “We are always available so that a client, whether that’s an owner or a shipyard, feels satisfied with one of our projects.” This was Dini’s goal for the interior of Project Gemini: to create an elegant, Zen-like oasis on the sea that owners will fall in love with at first sight.