The designers of the new Azimut Grande 35 Metri took a yin-yang approach to creating Azimut’s new flagship. Stefano Righini, who has designed every new Azimut for several decades, focused on using the yacht’s large volumes to maximize social spaces. In the process, he engineered breakthroughs like creating largest flybridge in its class, a generous beach club and a 330-squarefoot gathering area on the foredeck. Righini also gave the 35 Metri an fierce profile defined by angles and straight edges. It not only carries Azimut’s traditional DNA, but pushes the design forward into a new era.
The Achille Salvagni interior takes the opposite approach. Salvagni relished Righini’s exterior, particularly the large volumes that gave him abundant interior spaces, but knew he could not just transfer the exterior inward. “I had to find a way into this challenge without bombarding owners with an aggressive design,” he says. “The way to do that was not to compete with the exterior, but to treat the interior in a much gentler, calmer way. I wanted to translate the very square, vertical look into a smoother, softer interior.”
Salvagni’s architectural background has largely been in upscale residential projects, but he has designed many custom yachts, including two recent Rossinavi launches, Endeavour and Aurora. He employed a bespoke approach to designing the 35 Metri’s interior, creating custom furniture, cabinets, and lamps as well as shaping the walls, ceilings, and other decor. In the saloon, a circular sofa sits on a circular rug. The overhead lights are molded into the ceilings, almost like natural appendages, while on a cabinet a large white oval sculpture looks like a beautifully shaped ear. “The cabinets on the right side of the saloon were like a branch of wood to me,” says Salvagni. “It has a mahogany top with bronze pieces that look like they’re growing organically from the wall.”
At first, there was pushback from the yard about the unorthodox design, but Salvagni fought hard for the vision that eventually became Azimut Grande’s new look. “The capacity to get your way is ultimately connected to the strength of your cause,” he says. “I deal with very high-end clients and have a good sense of what they want. I knew how we could create a new identity for this yacht that would appeal to them.” Since the 35 Metri was announced, Azimut has sold more than a half-dozen models, all with the same Salvagni interior.
On our visit during the Monaco Yacht Show, the 35 Metri was indeed soft and elegant in all the best unconventional ways. Salvagni used natural light streaming through the full-height windows in the saloon to its best effect, allowing it to highlight the few dark wood panels on the walls, but bounce off the light-colored, curved bulkheads and white sofa. Salvagni’s soft touch is also evident everywhere in his own signature chairs, lamps, and cabinets. His custom approach has paid off handsomely for what is essentially a semi-custom yacht. “I design everything I can, down to the handles in the cabinets,” he says. “If you want to create an identity for something, you cannot source anything from the market.”
That simple bespoke design philosophy carries across the interior to the owner’s suite, which has a slender desk beside a full-height window, brushed-metal doors, and three curved cabinets behind the bed that look more like stylized wardrobes from a Wes Anderson movie than a traditional yacht’s closet. The en suite bathroom is defined by the contrasting marble sinks and dark mahogany cabinets.
Perhaps the most striking feature on the Azimut 35 Metri is the curving, three-floor staircase with backlit onyx steps. It winds its way through the heart of the yacht, connecting each level. It’s rare to have an inner staircase on a yacht this size. Azimut took it further by using a custom design and materials that are one-of-a-kind. “It’s very tricky to create these kind of features,” says Salvagni. “But if you do it right, you will not have only done a great service for your clients, you will have created a unique personality for the yacht.”
The Azimut Grande 35 Metri will make its U.S. debut next week at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.