Construction on the third build from Dutch shipyard Heesen Yacht’s all-aluminum 50m semi-displacement series is well underway, with delivery available by the second quarter of 2024.
Dubbed Project Jade, this latest build is remarkable not only for her elegant profile, but for a balanced and thoughtful interior and exterior design that leaves no desire unfulfilled. Longtime Heesen naval architecture partners Omega Architects are responsible for the exterior styling of the stately vessel, which echoes the sculptural quality of the yard’s acclaimed 65m custom build of 2013, Galactica Star.
With a profile that underscores her 23-knot top speed at half load, Project Jade exudes an air of sporty sophistication. A muscular reverse sheer line and flowing superstructure arches demonstrate the familiar essence of her Heesen heritage, while for this project, Omega’s Frank Laupman incorporated slightly chiseled lines and an integrated hull and superstructure styling that lends a crisp, modern feel to the 164ft (50m) beauty.
Project Jade also features an optimized hull design with a streamlined underwater body that keeps the transom depth to a minimum and raises the propellers within deep tunnels to reduce her overall draft to an impressive 7ft (2.15m). Fitted with the latest IMO Tier III-compliant MTU 16V 4000 M65L engines, Project Jade promises the excellent seakeeping and efficient performance that defines Heesen builds, with top speeds in excess of 23 knots and a transoceanic range of 3,100 miles at 11 knots. In fact, Heesen’s 50m fast-cruising class is the first of its kind below 500GT to comply with IMO Tier-III regulations.
The Balance of Performance and Comfort
Built to the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) standards, Project Jade offers a five-stateroom layout with an on-deck master, large, well-defined guest spaces, and enviable deck areas – all within a 499GT package for the ultimate balance of performance, efficiency and onboard living.
Noted Italian designer Cristiano Gatto was tapped to create the layout for this latest design, and the resulting collaboration with Laupman is something Gatto himself refers to as one of his “favorite projects.” The design ethos? A harmonization of interior and exterior spaces that is fresh, contemporary and modern, but absent of the cold experience of the minimalism of the past.
Incorporating all of the desired amenities of superyacht living within a 50m, 499GT package presents a challenge for any designer, but Gatto considered important features on each deck to ensure the project’s success.
The first major key point in the design is the lack of division between interior and exterior – whether from the transition of interior spaces to aft deck areas or through the floor-to-ceiling windows providing unobstructed views. The layout flows seamlessly from stem to stern, where a tremendous beach club doubles as a tender garage. Head room in this space is amplified thanks to the main deck aft design, which simply raises the aft sunpad lounging area by three steps to create a generous, full-size, multi-purpose beach club/tender garage below.
Within the interior on the main deck, a massive dining area featuring dedicated china storage is positioned forward of the main salon, while the full-beam master stateroom is positioned furthest forward. This generous space offers four distinct areas comprised of an office, a walk-in dressing room, a palatial, marble-lined bathroom and the cabin itself, which is graced by large windows.
The upper salon is another epicenter of the vessel, and, as with every guest space onboard, has been planned to comfortably facilitate entertaining. Here, the sofas are positioned to take advantage of the views afforded by the yacht’s large windows, while a bar is situated behind the sofa, allowing guests to sit with a drink and enjoy the view or the game on the wall television opposite. The option to entertain on this deck is enhanced, thanks to the well-proportioned aft bridge deck accommodating al fresco dining and lounging.
Project Jade’s sun deck comfortably offers all of the al fresco activities one would desire aboard a superyacht, from large seating areas to an enormous bar, a Jacuzzi with sunpads and an additional space for dining.
Twelve guests are accommodated within Project Jade’s five staterooms that include the on-deck master plus two doubles and two twin ensuites on the lower deck. Crew quarters for eight are positioned forward, and a double Captain’s cabin is situated aft of the wheelhouse on the bridge deck.
A Blank Canvas
Project Jade is a speculative build, yet rather than create a single style that may appeal to one client, Gatto took a unique, blank canvas approach to the interior design that offers three style options to encourage the client to visualize the space as tailored to him or her: Aria, Terre or Mare.
From the Latin word for “air,” the Aria interior presents a warm and inviting aesthetic with materials and textures that enhances the yacht’s natural lighting with chic undertones. The sky is reflected in the selection of materials and tempered glass, while shaded grey leathers, white lash gold-veined marbles and cool stainless steel deliver earthy tones.
Latin for the Roman goddess of Earth, the Terra interior features warm tones, soft, cozy materials and earthy elements such as tanned leather and warm colors. Ideal for clients who plan to cruise in colder climates, the Terra interior features bespoke furniture by Cristiano Gatto along with a Patagonia marble-topped dining table and a custom beige, white and warm brown carpet reminiscent of autumn or early spring.
Evocative of the sea itself, the Mare interior emphasizes the connection between indoor and outdoor spaces. The furniture evokes feminine touches and the lightness of water while custom designed carpeting illustrates maps of fantasy destinations.
Throughout the interior of Project Jade, rounded, organic themes dominate. Rounded contours for the fixed and freestanding furniture echo the curvaceous lines of the exterior, from the free-form sofa and coffee tables to the circular dining table graced by circular overhead lighting and ceiling panels.
Much research and development went into the selection of materials as well as the way they would be used and styled onboard. Classic materials such as marbles, stainless steel and mirrored glass combine with tactile textures selected to reflect and enhance the natural light from the large windows. Gatto also introduced a few innovative materials as well, such as a leather with a gradient shading that adds the effect of depth in its application. This shaded variant is also incorporated in the custom carpeting.
Because Heesen is one of the few shipyards in the world to have its own in-house interiors division, each of Gatto’s interior styles will be perfectly engineered and installed by the yard’s in-house interior construction team.
“I raised the bar with Project Jade in terms of design and welcoming different types of clients,” says Gatto. “It was quite a challenge but I really look forward to seeing this boat on the water.”
Embodying a stellar interior design, balanced exterior profile and high-caliber engineering that sets Heesen apart, Project Jade is one spec yacht that meets the expectation of a discerning client ready to combine a need for speed with the speedy enjoyment of their next yacht.