Luiz de Basto's cutting-edge Quartz 55 superyacht concept
by Risa Merl
Designer Luiz de Basto took a departure from his trademark curvaceous yacht designs with the new forward-thinking concept, the Quartz 55. The pavilion-style superstructure featuring floor-to-ceiling windows was inspired by modern skyscrapers.
Not only did he attempt to 'challenge some old preconceived ideas about how a yacht looks', de Basto wanted to take advantage of the latest technology available today when creating the 55m yacht. Namely, glass technology. The Miami, Florida-based designer explored utilizing high-performance glass in order to lower costs and engineering and construction time. The air cushion separating double-glazed windows creates a space where venetian blinds can be supported into the gap to control light and privacy. A metallic film can be applied to the glass to reduce glare and UV penetration, reducing heat more than 65 per cent.
'In addition, radiant walls and floors can be used for heating and cooling,' says de Basto. 'Also, the use of privacy glass, which can be dimmed, allows for total control over AC loads and privacy.'
Creating close contact to the water was also important, and de Basto achieved this by designing the stern to open completely. While underway, the transom is completely enclosed, which creates clean lines and is a good security feature. At anchor, the stern panel can be lowered and used as a giant swim platform with stairs to the main deck on either side. The aft sides on the hull also flip down to reveal the beach club, which can also be used to store water toys. Tender stowage is found in the garage forward, below the swimming pool on the forward main deck, which will be covered by teak panels when not in use. The garage is designed to accommodate a 6.5m tender and three personal watercraft. Currently, the layout has four guest staterooms belowdecks while the owners' cabin is on the main deck forward, just aft of the garage.
As for the reality of building this cutting-edge, glass-inspired yacht, de Basto says it's, 'a perfectly feasible yacht with a cost not to exceed conventional designs of the same size, however, to be built by a very experienced and capable yard. No doubt the amount of glass and movable parts are a demanding engineering challenge, but that's what sets this design apart, and that's exactly what sets this design apart.'