PHOTOS: Jeff Brown
According to Greek mythology Metis was one of the Titans. She was a daughter of Oceanus and Tethys, and the first wife of Zeus. Metis further became the goddess of wisdom, prudence, and deep thought. It is a perfect name for one of the latest beauties built by Benetti. Indeed, this 207-footer (63-meter) is as thoughtfully designed and powerful as her name announces.
Metis, with styling penned by Italian yacht designer Giorgio M. Cassetta, is a project born on spec, as Benetti FB276. She blends modern and timeless lines—particularly see her long, vertical bow—with big volumes of 1,245 gross tons. Big windows complement the roomy communal living spaces, spread over five decks and a 34’8” (10.6-meter) beam.
Her German owner entered at a stage in which he still could put his personal touch, with few changes from the original layout. The interior architectural design is by Bannenberg & Rowell, with the collaboration of Birgit Otte Interior for decor. When we visited the yacht at the Monaco Yacht Show, we noticed something unusual. Despite her magnificence, there’s no attempt to create a “wow” effect. In fact, while Metis has a different spatial scheme than any other yacht, it’s for practical reasons.
This is immediately evident when you enter the saloon. Indeed, the interior offers a genuinely new perspective, with unconventional asymmetric layouts twisting throughout the core of the main spaces. The main lounge area (at top and above) offers a big relaxation zone with a backgammon table and a dining area with a long rectangular table. On the same deck forward, there’s a play area for the kids and a double cabin opposite the babysitter’s cabin. The latter additionally has a study with armchairs a small private terrace overlooking the sea (below). These cabins were special requests by the owner.
The desire to shake up some of the rules of layout and orientation is additionally clearly evident in the upper-deck saloon (below). The space here, featuring a sofa, armchairs, a bar, and a black piano, appears rotated. This helps reduce blocked routes and created corners for lobbies, AV equipment, etc. This also achieves a more relaxed arrangement (almost a room within a room) and more dynamic configurations for areas such as the bar.
Metis has modern furnishings that echo the architectural detailing, with softened angular shapes. Lighting, too, incorporates geometric designs, in marquetry patterns and sculptured metals. Facets, edgy surfaces, and twisted ribbons are not the usual traits of a conventional superyacht interior, either. However, here they help to influence the unique “cut diamond” polished stainless steel handles which contrast a suite of oak veneers, Emperador and Bianco Statuario marbles, carbon fiber, texalium, and leathers.
The emphasized edges, joinery divisions, and dynamic lines is a unified language throughout the interior, but particularly on the upper deck. The forward portion is entirely for the owner, since he shares the aft alfresco dining and relaxation area as well as the above-mentioned upper saloon with guests. A full-beam suite (above) guarantees privacy, over 525 square feet (160 square meters) almost entirely framed by full-height panoramic windows. It has a contemporary range of finishes in bleached oak, carbon fiber, and polished steel, together with Calacatta and Coffee Brown marble. Of course, the owner’s apartment further has a terrace, though it’s anything but typical. It’s an astonishing 180-square-foot (55-square-meter) private lounge furnished with Glyn Peter Machin sunbeds (below). On a related note, it becomes a touch-and-go helipad once the sunbeds are removed.
The staircase is a stunning, sculptural design, flowing around a round elevator (below). It’s also in perfect dialog with the yacht’s general geometrical style, though with a nod to car design with a dynamic shape. The stairs links the four guest staterooms to the very top deck.
As for that top deck, the owner made yet another special request when Metis was already at an advanced construction stage. He wanted a gym for guests to train both inside and outdoors (below). Designed by Cassetta and Kurt Lehmann, president of Yacht Moments, who introduced the owner to Benetti, this space has sliding doors fore and aft. The dark-tinted side windows ensure privacy, while simultaneously permitting an amazing view of the sea.
At the lowest deck of the yacht, the main feature, of course, is the beach club (below). Like other areas onboard, it, too, has a distinctive arrangement. Specifically, it’s a T-shaped room, with at least three traffic routes. Additionally, it’s more like three spaces, each with their own little areas, like the bar, the side terraces, and a central lounge. It’s a beach “cabana,” a cozy room on the beach.
Whether they’re enjoying indoor areas or sunny decks, the owner and guests can reach any corner of the globe. Twin MTU engines propel Metis to a top speed of 16 knots and a range of 5,000 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 12 knots. Indeed, the owner enjoyed her for 7,500 miles last summer, with great satisfaction with his family.
Bannenberg & Rowell Design bannenbergandrowell.com
Birgit Otte Interior birgitotte.de