The new Bilgin 155, a finalist at the World Superyacht Awards 2017, was delivered to her Mexican owner in July last year bearing the name Giaola Lu, before her official presentation to the international public at the exclusive Monaco Yacht Show. To build this vessel, Bilgin Yachts, the Istanbul-based shipyard specialising in steel and aluminium super yacht builds, worked with Turkish designers Unique Yacht Design for the naval architecture and English designers H2 Yacht Design for both the exterior and interior design.
With her compact, powerful appearance reinforced by a distinctive plumb bow with high bulwarks, Giaola Lu has elegantly proportioned shapes and a contemporary, modern look that is nonetheless classic and timeless, just as the Owner’s initial vision intended. The concept for the motor yacht is based on the Owner’s desire to cruise the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and he expressly requested a layout designed to favour a dynamic, socially active lifestyle in the company of his family, numerous friends and many guests.
In more detail, Giaola Lu was devised to offer external spaces and interiors designed for lounging, dining
and partying at full guest capacity, with the emphasis placed on outdoor living – this was the Owner’s priority objective for the various fittings on board
the motor yacht. To achieve this aim, he showed no inclination for a traditional layout that would necessarily have involved the usual sharp division between exterior and
interior spaces, instead preferring a layout with less organisational rigidity and greater flexibility in terms
of distribution. This made it possible to obtain decks strongly characterised by a fluid continuity of fittings that are simultaneously indoor and outdoor. Either one of these two aspects, however, can be brought more to the fore depending on the kind of activity carried out on board. This means that when it comes to the crunch, the Owner’s yacht is genuinely usable and highly practical on every occasion.
The key spatial concept unifying the indoor and outdoor environments is most clearly present in the spaces for socialising, namely the large main deck salon and the sky lounge on the upper deck. The large salon interior is an open space with a lounge bar and conversation space / cinema, which opens out seamlessly, both visually and physically, to the external environment and the surrounding panorama thanks to large sliding glass panels. In the sky lounge, meanwhile, the space has been arranged as a living area with zones for relaxation, including a bar, gaming, and dining areas encircled by a fully openable curved glass panel so that the interior can merge with the external space of the aft deck, protected by the overhanging deck above.
The beach club and the sun deck are of course intrinsically outdoor by vocation. Facing out over the sea directly through the transom hatch, which opens to form a platform at water level, the beach club has a sunbathing area and a lounge area for relaxation, in addition to the adjacent garage which, when the main tender is not present, can be used as an additional space to increase the usable area of the beach club.
Located at the very top of the vessel, meanwhile, with an uninterrupted panoramic view to the horizon in every direction, the sun deck is dominated by a large swimming pool with Jacuzzi, as well as a sunbathing area with sun beds, another sunbathing area with sun pads, an open air lounge and an alfresco dining area, both served by a bar. The numerous open-air spaces
on the motor yacht can be appropriately shaded for protection from the sun with Tuuci sun umbrellas
and custom-made awnings, while the furniture of the external spaces on all decks is partly custom made
and partly loose furniture carefully selected from the product ranges of Dedon, Summit, Minotti, Paola Lenti, Manutti and finally Valdenassi. The Owner’s suite and the guest staterooms are of course indoor spaces by definition. The Owner’s private accommodation on the main deck consists of a study and a full-beam master stateroom with a relaxation space and a desk/dressing table space. It also features a dressing room and his and hers bathrooms. The guest accommodation on the lower deck, meanwhile, has a full-beam VIP stateroom with a relaxation space, a desk/dressing table space, a dressing room and his and hers bathrooms, as well as four guest staterooms, two with a double bed each and two with twin beds. As with the vessel’s layout, Giaola Lu’s interior design and decor also fully embody the Owner’s desire to have a motor yacht that immediately conveys a balanced blend of a welcoming family atmosphere and relaxing social entertainment from the moment you set foot on board.
This careful mix of pleasing sensations is created through modern, contemporary interior styling characterised by profound naturalness, as set out in the project specifications given to the design team by the Owner. To achieve this, the team devised and created exclusive, prestigious fittings that are however simple and linear. The underlying inspiration for this concept is undoubtedly that of a modern, contemporary high-end luxury residence, a fact visible to the full in both the overall layout and individual details. In order to flawlessly reflect this refined sense of serene warmth that traditionally imbues a private family home throughout the project but without excluding that sophisticated feeling of lively camaraderie unique to a social club for friends, the Owner first and foremost gave preference to the choice of cladding materials, especially the veneer selection that would form the backdrop to the fittings in every space in a balanced, coordinated way. The veneer palette includes numerous different wood types with different finishes such as satin and matt, while the woods themselves include American walnut, Anatolian walnut, wenge, teak, cedar and olive. The woodwork itself shows off the shipyard’s advanced skills in fine carpentry.
A great deal of attention was paid to the subtle continuation of details between private spaces and public spaces and, perhaps most notably, a glorious Mondrian-style geometric pattern in the main lobby surrounded by the floating backlit onyx staircase.
Other noteworthy details include the way the veneer panels are connected and edged, especially in the sky lounge or the Owner’s office which features curved and angled wooden wall panels, while decorative surface panels by Kinon were applied in the VIP stateroom
in combination with wooden panels. The carefully designed use of mirrors around the yacht makes small spaces feel much bigger, working well with the geometric surroundings they reflect to create the feeling of being on a much larger yacht, especially when you consider the large proportion of guest space.
The custom-made patterned glass panel with backlit mirror, for example, creates a powerful effect in the guest staircase and the guest lobby.
The main lounge, meanwhile, was designed using nubuck and shagreen together with natural fabrics
and leathers, all sourced from the United Kingdom,
in combination with extensive use of exquisite stone varieties, all sourced within Turkey, such as
emperador dark and white onyx with cream travertine and eramosa.
When it comes to entertainment and comfort, one the most distinctive features of Giaola Lu is her state-of-the-art network equipment by Savant, which makes it possible to control the sound system, climate controls, lighting, curtains, plus all televisions and cameras via an application that works on any mobile device.
With Savant Automation Systems technology, the audio and video system controls, lighting and climate system controls, music server and the media server archives of the yacht are integrated into a
single application. In short, all the electronic devices and systems can be controlled easily with this user-friendly application, effortlessly providing a very comfortable environment for the Owner and his guests.
Savant Automation Systems technology provides ease of use and comfort for the Owner and the guests when controlling the rooms, while the curtains and motorised lifts for the TV screens can also be controlled with ease using the application.
In addition, you can monitor the situation of each room and area in real time, and also control every system with ease – from temperature, audio and video systems and volume levels to lighting armatures and lighting levels – no matter where you are simply by using the keypads on the walls, also programmed as requested by the Owner.
Photos by Erla Altay
Giaola Lu technical specifications
|Lenght||46.80 m / 153’6’’ ft|
|Beam||9.20 m / 30’2’’ ft|
|Draught||2.45 m / 8’01’’ ft|
|Range||app. 5.000 nautical miles|
|Fuel capacity||64.600 litres / 17,050 US gallons|
|Water capacity||12.300 litres / 3,255 US gallons|
|Guests||12 + 4|
|Naval Architect||Unique Yacht Design|
|Exterior Design||H2 Yacht Design – Bilgin Yacht Design
|Interiors Design||H2 Yacht Design – Bilgin Yacht Design