If a Superyacht Were a Skyscraper…

Designer Luiz de Basto used modern buildings as the inspiration for his Quartz 55 M.

It’s not every day that we hear a superyacht designer compare his work to building skyscrapers, but that’s what Luiz de Basto did with the renderings for the new Quartz 55 M. He says he set out to design a yacht whose architecture and technology worked seamlessly together, a yacht that makes the best use of current technology while giving every space a function (or two) to fulfill.

To that end, the Quartz 55 M is a 180-footer that pushes the boundaries on using glass in marine design. “It’s possible to use this material in the nautical world in ways not obvious just a few years ago,” de Basto stated in a press release. “I decided to use high-performance flat glass in order to lower the cost, engineering and construction time.”

What you see in the renderings is the use of double glazing with an air cushion between glass panels, and Venetian blinds in that air space, to control light and privacy onboard the Quartz 55 M. The glass panels have a metallic film applied to reduce glare and UV rays — and to reduce heat by more than 65 percent. Radiant walls and floors provide heating and cooling, and privacy glass can be dimmed, so there’s no reason not to use floor-to-ceiling “outside walls” just as in modern building design.

The way de Basto shaped the upper deck creates 10 feet of inside headroom, which is a lot on an upper deck, even for a 180-foot superyacht. The expansive pilothouse windshield will be built of floor-to-ceiling structural glass and the helm console is designed as a piece of freestanding furniture.

Yet more uses that de Basto conceived for glass include slide-open balconies all over the place, since panes of glass can be mounted on tracks. The aft deck on the Quartz 55 M can be completely enclosed using this feature — or can be completely opened with hinged, drop-down panels similar to the ones that de Basto designed for a 63-footer now under construction at the Astondoa yard in Spain. Those same drop-down panels also create fold-out balconies to port and starboard on the Quartz 55 M.

Even with all of these bells and whistles, de Basto says, the Quartz 55 M shouldn’t cost more to build than any other 180-footer: “However, [the Quartz 55 M is] to be built only by a very experienced and capable yard. No doubt the amount of glass and movable parts are a demanding engineering challenge, but that’s what sets this design apart — and that’s exactly what can provide a luxurious yachting experience to a very special owner.”

Learn more at www.luizdebasto.com.