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Design | A Project of Vafiadis

Aifos, 50 metre by CBI Navi

Architect Giorgio Vafiadis is responsible for the design of Aifos, a 50-metre craft by CBI Navi of Viareggio featuring solutions that reflect the most striking, energetic nautical modernism. The technical design, three decks plus sun deck, is by Sergio Cutolo’s Hydro Tec. She is constructed in 5083 light aluminium alloy throughout, giving the yacht a very reduced displacement (a little less than 300 tonnes) in relation to her dimensions. Her semi-planing hull with chines and semi-tunnel for her props also gives her exceptional agility, low draught and outstanding seaholding abilities in all conditions. The result is a maximum speed of over 24 knots with a range of 700 miles at 22 knots and an impressive 1800 at 12 knots.

The Aifos is a technological jewel with high-end sailing qualities, but it’s her design that reveals her spectacular nature. The yacht can host up to 12 guests in six cabins, including three VIP doubles on the lower deck, two twins on the main deck and the majestic full-beam owner’s loft on the upper deck. To a degree the style reflects the tension embodied by this gutsy craft, leaving no room for traditionalist furnishing solutions. “The owners are a successful young couple who know what they want,” says Vafiadis. “We worked with them to create a design that’s outside the normal parameters, with none of the traditional yachting materials. There’s no wood or carpets – we’ve used alternative solutions like leather, treated hides and varnish on the horizontal surfaces of the furniture and worked glass, while the unmistakeable texture of the Gaulchat leather highlights the rhythms of the vertical panelling.”

The upper deck is laid out as the living quarters for the owners – the exterior cockpit has generous seating for communal interaction, plus a bar and BBQ, another solarium and a small saloon forward. On entering, though, guests are met by an open space that brings together the sleeping area and private saloon forward. This can be split up when necessary by concealed sliding doors to create a huge space for the owners’ private use. These interiors offer a futuristic experience where empty space predominates and essential lines shape the surroundings, tempered by rounded corners and lengthened by columns and furniture. The ultramodern furnishings also take up the theme of rectangular geometries, highlighted even more by the light colours surrounding them. “The shades are interpretations of grey – the colour of the sky after a storm, bringing relief and euphoria after the terrible weather, imposing calm and quiet, presaging the return of the sun,” Vafiadis continues. The bed stands free in the centre of the space, and the sightlines, unencumbered by obstacles, flow around the interior. A large partition becomes a TV screen in the direction of both the lounge and bedroom, while lamps, armchairs and drawers maintain rigorous proportions. “The partition panel is in Forex composite with laser etched working, and the flooring is leather. We’ve left the wengé only for the gym,” adds architect Vafiadis. The bathroom is anthracite coloured. Here, too, perpendicularity reigns supreme, creating a sense of refined absence, a total rejection of any Baroque ornamentation.

The deck below hosts the living area and dining room. Here there’s a darker colour palette for floors, divans and armchairs, giving the saloon a sense of more austere luxury. The wooden table cut in curved sections offsets the black of the chairs with its natural tone. The main exterior cockpit opens up beyond the sofas. This offers a spacious dining area and bar, ending in a typical sweeping semicircular seat on the aft bulwark. The two twin guest cabins are also on the main deck, and their interiors feature an intensification of the theme of clean lines, freeing them from any superfluous encumbrance and allowing for the light to enhance the play of colours. The three double cabins on the lower deck offer a spectacular repetition of the same interior design concepts, with low beds and rounded bulkheads, while the bedheads with their varnished panels and mother of pearl and leather silver leaf finish give added depth.

Above the sea the sun deck overlooks the yacht from two social areas. It’s sheltered by a large retractable canopy stored in the rollbar above. On the aft section of the sundeck, a Jacuzzi tub is framed by an enormous circular sunpad, designed for serious relaxation. “On the water,” the architect concludes, “Aifos has the look of a modern yacht, fast, safe and, above all, very comfortable, making the owner proud to possess her.”

Andrea B. Nardi

(Yacht Design, n. 4/2009)

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