Claudio Lazzarini and Carl Pickering of Lazzarini Pickering Architetti had a challenge on their hands. Benetti wanted the studio to create the interior for a new design echoing some of its launches from the 1960s. Rather than a retro exercise, though, the megayacht needed to be thoroughly modern in appeal. The resulting 121-foot (37-meter) Benetti Motopanfilo (pronounced moh-toh-pan-fee-loh) blends some of the best cruising-lifestyle advantages of the past and the present. Equally important, “It’s not nostalgic,” Pickering says. “We wanted to design a yacht, not a house.”
Indeed, the design partners feel that some contemporary yachts’ interiors are more like residential dwellings. “We wanted to return to a more nautical language,” Pickering explains. The all-fiberglass Benetti Motopanfilo therefore features liberal use of wood, underfoot and overhead, plus classic white and blue tones. Furthermore, “since the luxury in a boat is space, real or perceived,” as Pickering notes, discreetly mirrored surfaces reflect the sun, the sky, and the sea. Even the shape of spaces is arguably nautical. Beams running overhead curve as they meet the walls, continuing down each side, akin to the framing of a metal yacht or, as Pickering also says, the ribs of a whale. The framing helps delineate areas of the decks, plus of course makes the decor all the more interesting.
The Benetti Motopanfilo embraces the classic characteristics of the yard’s 1960s-era launches in other ways, too. Lazzarini Pickering Architetti allows the walls of the four below-decks staterooms to follow the natural shape of the hull, for instance. Plus, on the main deck (where the owners’ suite sits) and below decks, ports avoid being the small holes of the past while simultaneously not being dominating penthouse-like panes of many contemporary craft.
All of this pairs well with styling by Francesco Struglia, in combination with Benetti. Together, they pay homage to classic exterior elements like mahogany caprails and rounded, integral sterns. Rather than wood, however, a ribbon of bronze paint outlines the aft bulwarks (above). It continues up and aft, around the upper-deck overhang. The Benetti Motopanfilo has an integral hull, too, not recessed off a big platform. But, it still has the modern-day must-have, a fold-down hatch to form a beach club. An eye-catching extra touch: an extending sun canopy. Designed by Lazzarini Pickering Architetti, it calls to mind the rounded canopies dotting beaches from St. Tropez to Miami decades ago.
Speaking of decades ago, even the megayacht’s model name is a throwback. “Motopanfilo,” translating to “motoryacht,” was the 1960s term for the large yachts that quickly became the playthings of the world’s elite. Naturally, they included Benettis, like the Gabbiano model, which Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly were photographed upon. Not coincidentally, Benetti switched from building with wood to using metal in 1960.
From the cozy, two-person observation deck to the tender garage, the Benetti Motopanfilo has plenty of attractive features. With a beam of 25’6” (7.8 meters), the megayacht should strike a chord with buyers. The anticipated 3,800-nautical-mile range at 10 knots under MAN power means she’ll surely turn additional heads on both sides of the Atlantic as well.
Francesco Struglia Design francescostrugliadesign.it
Lazzarini Pickering Architetti lazzarinipickering.com