When you visit contemporary art museums such as the Whitney in Manhattan, the Pérez in Miami or the Tate Modern in the U.K., you are first struck by the architecture and space. Focusing on the art displayed within comes afterward.
Stepping aboard the 244-foot (74.5-meter) Abeking & Rasmussen Elandess is a similar experience. First impressions are the exterior profile, the deck spaces—the envelope, as it were—and then, there is everything else. There is a lot to take in; Elandess has a mind-boggling multitude of design moves, each and every one carefully curated.
Elandess (pronounced “L and S”) is the third yacht for her British owner, who previously owned a 154-foot (47-meter) Heesen and a 197-foot (60-meter) Abeking of the same name. This time around, he wanted to create something different. Abeking brought in U.K.-based design studio Harrison Eidsgaard to forge a proposal.
Peder Eidsgaard, one of the directors, took a gamble when presenting his design concept to the client.
“In essence, I prepared a presentation for the client based on a limited brief from A&R,” he says. “Without having met the client himself, I took a risk and decided that the best way to lead the client through my lifestyle concept for the project was to also design a house for him. I presented the client with a house and then a matching yacht. While that house and that boat design did not exactly speak to the client’s vision, he did like my way of thinking. Hence, we moved forward together.”
The firm created the exterior and interior design for Elandess, and Eidsgaard spent the next six weeks redefining and tweaking designs. One month later, Abeking was awarded the build contract. Ed Beckett of Burgess Technical Services was brought in as the owner’s representative.
Harrison Eidsgaard designed the hull shape from scratch. The profile is at once classic and modern. Taking inspiration from 20th-century, record-setting transatlantic ocean liners, Elandess sports a near vertical Atlantic bow. Eidsgaard drew the exterior lines the old-fashioned way, by hand. The pencil lines evoke a progressive, continuous flow with a nod to 20th-century liners. Computer-aided design followed, and the rest of the yacht is pure 21st century.
“The client is remarkably competent in reading plan and elevation drawings,” Eidsgaard says. “He also likes seeing sketches and does not need finished 3-D computer renderings in order to visualize the end result. His ability to understand drawings enabled us to complete the concept in an incredibly short and intense period—just six weeks.”
In a way, Elandess is defined by her semi-sunken wheelhouse, a feature that Eidsgaard says is intended to create a “long roof terrace with a boat below it. ” The design choice also informed the exterior profile: “This roof terrace sundeck had to have exceptional views all around,” Eidsgaard says. “The stepped levels from the wheelhouse roof at the forward end and all the way aft to the deck above the sky lounge were carefully positioned to create the soft and flowing feel of the sundeck, and to allow great vistas from each and every seat and sun bed.”
All details of the hull and superstructure have a continuity that carries over to the rest of the yacht. For instance, the gunmetal gray hull paint is also used on the top of the yacht to separate the mast elements, and to highlight a wing that supports the stainless-steel exhaust pipes.
While the Harrison Eidsgaard team initially visited the client’s London apartment and the 197-foot Elandess to get a handle on how he and his wife lived, the client was clear that he wanted his new Elandess to be original.
“For us, he was the dream client,” says Ewa Eidsgaard, interior designer and a director at Harrison Eidsgaard. “His interest and acceptance of unusual ideas continued throughout the design process and the entire project.”
The yacht has many standout features. One is the central staircase, the top of which is capped by an oval glass skylight that is also the bottom of the sundeck swimming pool. Another interesting choice is the location of the elevator.
“Right from the start, I proposed to have the lift placed away from the staircase,” Peder Eidsgaard says. “I personally have a strong dislike of lifts placed in the center of atriums: This is exactly the place where you want an open void so that guests feel a connection between the decks. In hiding the lift to the side, I could focus on making sure the stringer became the central feature. On Elandess, the stringer is made of a continuous set of parallel lines that swoop through the very center of the yacht, which from the lower-deck viewing point creates a frame for the oval glass at the top of the atrium.”
The spiral staircase is surrounded in an elegantly rustic finish of plaster and mother-of-pearl executed by U.K.-based DKT Artworks. The open-tread stairs provide sightlines across three decks. The light from the pool above flickers down the multiple levels.
Peder Eidsgaard says he is all about opening spaces, letting light through and creating vistas: “In that sense, it is not so much about including the pool window. It is more, Why on earth would we not?”
The owner wanted Elandess to cater to four generations in the family, from the elderly to the young. Safety and usability were paramount. There were also clear parameters regarding movement, flow, stateroom configuration, communal living areas, furniture, materials and fabrics.
Elandess also serves as a showcase for the owner’s art collection. According to Ewa Eidsgaard, he likes characterful art, colorful pieces of furniture and bold fabrics. The design team created a restrained, natural architectural background so as not to compete with the featured pieces.
According to Nick Houghton, the design firm’s project manager, the owner also cared a great deal about the framing and positioning of each artwork. Holding up the art on board Elandess for the owner to make decisions required several of the crew and designers for a number of days.
An artistic impression comes through in the yacht’s design choices as well. The main deck salon sports a dark wood wall to contrast with the light tones of the rest of the room. For this wall, Peder Eidsgaard incorporated a credenza and cupboard in gold, as well as four integrated lighting scones.
The design concept worked because Abeking & Rasmussen and outfitter Rodiek Interiors in Germany made good on execution.
“We designed all the furniture on board,” Houghton says, “including every sofa and also everything on the owners’ deck in glass and metal with integrated lighting.” The desk is like a sculpture, creating a centerpiece in the office.
Other standout features include the lower-deck “neptune” lounge and upper-deck observation lounge. The neptune lounge, with tiered seating in dark blue wood and outdoor chenille fabric, offers an incomparable view of what lies beneath and above the sea. (A third of the window is submerged.) Creating this space required engineering by Abeking & Rasmussen, while GL Yachtverglasung provided six glass panels nearly 4 inches thick that required a crane for installation.
Lower Deck - Split-level ‘neptune’ lounge with views above and below the waterline, Glass-walled walkway passing by the engine room between the main staircase and ‘neptune’ lounge, Central staircase below the pool skylight, Six guest staterooms that connect to create three VIPs
Main Deck - Salon and dining room separated by sliding wall panels clad in graphite eel skin, Owner’s office, Master suite
Upper Deck - Sky lounge, Informal outside dining aft for 32 people, Starboard-side reading lounge en route to a panoramic observation lounge forward, On-deck forward lounge Bow seating
Sundeck - Lounge area with sunpads, Swimming pool, bar, dining table
“They are so strong that they do not require storm shutters,” says Andre Jonker, project manager at Abeking & Rasmussen.
To enhance viewing, lights were placed outside the hull, to attract fish at night.“Designing this highly three-dimensional seating concept was challenging indeed, but building it is a task on an entirely different level,” Peder Eidsgaard says. “Rodiek did an exceptional job in making sure the feature frames the windows seamlessly.”
The forward–facing observation lounge on the upper deck has full-height windows, and it transforms into a cinema room with blackout curtains. Throughout the yacht, there is always a choice to be connected to the sea or to be content within. On the starboard-side companionway to the observation lounge, a midway point can be used as a reading and viewing area, as it has full-height windows and sliding doors.
When you visit an art museum in a group, people are bound to go off in different directions, but there is always something that appeals to everyone. After a season of travels aboard Elandess, the owner and his family have discovered the art of pure enjoyment.
For more information: abeking.com
Abeking & Rasmussen Elandess
LOA: 244ft. 4in. (74.5m) BEAM: 42ft. (12.8m) DRAFT: 11ft. 4in. (3.45m) CONSTRUCTION: steel/aluminum DISPLACEMENT: 2,059 gross tons MAIN ENGINES: 2 x 2,029-hp CAT 3516 GENERATORS: 3 x 438 kW CAT C18 FUEL: 47,173 gal. (178,569L) WATER: 7,925 gal. (30,000L) SPEED (max.): 16.5 knots SPEED (cruise): 14 knots RANGE: 6,000 nm @ 12 knots CLASSIFICATION: LR X 100 A1 SSC YACHT, MONO, G6 X LMC, UMS ECO SCMNAVAL ARCHITECTURE: Abeking & Rasmussen EXTERIOR DESIGN: Harrison Eidsgaard INTERIOR STYLING: Harrison Eidsgaard GUESTS: 16 in 8 staterooms CREW: 23 in 11 cabins BUILDER: Abeking & Rasmussen YEAR: 2018