Design | Second 53 metre from Proteksan Turquoise
Leo Fun, Italian style from Turkey
Proteksan Turquoise yachts may come into the world in Turkey but they still have a very Italian slant to them. The second example of the yard’s 53-metre series, the product of the skills of Italian architect Paolo Caliari, is a four-decker designed as an “Italian saloon inspired by the past but connected to the present,” as the Proteksan design team likes to put it. In overall charge of the Leo Fun décor project was Jean Guy Vergés whose job it was to ensure the interiors met both the requirements of the owner and the unusual demands of a yacht destined for the deluxe charter market. A twin sister of Vinydrea and built from steel and aluminium to ABS and MCA standards, Leo Fun also retains that same explorer vessel spirit as her predecessor at the yard. However, she sports a traditional two-tone livery with the gleaming white of her superstructure emerging from her dark navy flanks, nicely highlighting her soft, sleek design whose lines are wonderfully non-aggressive.
This really is a yacht with an inside-outside feel to her: windows run the length of her decks and there are large skylights on the main. The sun deck is much larger somehow than normal and has enough room for a six-person Jacuzzi tub, gym areas and a barbecue as well as plenty of plush, sinuous sofas which reappear again in the spectacular al fresco lounge forward of the bridge. The asymmetrical superstructure on the main deck with just one companionway to port increased the living space by 30%, making it very much in line with the whole comfort focus of an explorer vessel. “The owner’s brief was to recreate an exclusive Italian-style interior but with a contemporary slant and a casual chic feeling to it,” says Jean Guy Vergés. “We were looking for a mix of unusual furnishings designed specifically for the yacht and also some sophisticated details to add a sense of warmth to the cabins and saloons – a beach house concept, in other words. We were also asked to use as much natural materials as possible, such as linen and silk, combined with leather and stone, and to work around subtle contrasts. The woods were not to be stained either – they were just left natural.” The whole of Leo Fun’s main deck has been given over to the owner’s suite and saloon. This meant moving the dining room onto the upper deck and keeping all of the guest accommodation on the lower one. The décor was designed to meld into a harmonious whole not only in terms of its colours (beige, black, brown and cream) but even more importantly through the careful calibration of the density and forms of the furnishings themselves. The idea was to avoid both pomposity and the rather cold, heartlessness of certain modern materials. The result is a warm, welcoming space in which every object has a function and a clear aesthetic. Nothing is superfluous but equally nothing is lacking. There is a great sense of spaciousness throughout and this is due partly to the fact that so many of the furnishings and accessories are actually bespoke and created especially for Leo Fun. “More than 30 moulds were made for various furnishings designed specifically for Leo Fun: everything from sofas to the crocodile-effect leather sofas and the sculpted lamps, all by Promemoria Italy. That almost obsessive attention to detail means that the yacht gives her guest a sense of being involved in an extraordinary yet somehow homely experience.”
Even the furnishings have a graceful roundness to them with no harsh angles. In fact, of the two long sofas on the main deck, one extends into a circular extension that softens its shape even further. Both are opposite glossy oblong occasional tables with oval ends too. The warmth of the natural oak and dark walnut used for the floors and the Macassar ebony of the furnishings melds beautifully with the soft hues of fabrics from a variety of manufacturers, including Nobilis, Jim Thompson and Sacho Hilssen. At the end of the saloon, the TV nook with its 50” plasma screen is more geometric and there’s also a dark leather take on the classic bergère. This is a truly impressively large space at 100 square metres.
On the upper deck, the curved lines reappear once again, particularly in the original indoor/outdoor-effect dining room which includes a 12-seater glass dining table, glass wraparound doors and a large spherical skylight. Behind it, angular leather sofas and armchairs and occasional tables in shades of mocha, grey, sand and colonial cream exude an austere elegance. Natural light is everywhere aboard Leo Fun, flooding in through her many windows and caressing every corner of the yacht. Apart from the double stateroom, the sleeping quarters also include a king-size VIP, three other doubles and a twin, all with en suite bathrooms. “The master suite is another reason that we’re so proud of this craft,” continues Vergés. “It lies just beyond the main saloon and is ringed by windows. It’s also very large (75 square metres) and runs all the way to forward to an enormous panoramic bathroom with breathtaking views.” In the suite itself, the furnishings are devoid of excess ornamentation, instead offering an elegantly harmonious palate of colours that creates a noble almost austere sophistication. The headrest of the king-size bed is made up of rectangles of quilted pale leather, a motif that recurs in the other cabins too. The 42” television glides out of a central unit too. “For the bathroom we decided to go for Italian good taste once again so we imported the Carrara marble for that while the taps and accessories are all by Grohe.” The delightful waterfall-effect of the light flooding in through the skylights aside, the window tints can also be varied. This, combined with the marble, creates a truly superb look.
Last but not least, the onboard entertainment system comes courtesy of sector specialists of the likes of Panasonic, Sony, Denon and Focus, and it helps to elevate Leo Fun to the very top of her league. Relaxation at its most elegant.
Andrea B. Nardi