- October 14, 2021
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The flying pool is a highlight of Tankoa’s Apache superyacht concept
At 42 years old, Alberto Mancini is one of the youngest yacht designers of his calibre in the world. Founder of AM Yacht Design in Monaco, the Italian has already worked with leading manufacturers such as Riva, Fairline and Azimut, as well as Officina Italiana Design, Nuvolari Lenard and Ken Freivokh. To date, one of the designer’s most iconic works is Fairline’s sleek Squadron 50 yacht. Mancini’s latest project, a wellness-inspired 76m superyacht concept for Italian shipyard Tankoa Yachts, takes the designer into the big league of 70m+ yachts for the first time.
“It is an evolution of existing projects into something innovative and more contemporary with the collaboration of a top designer,” says Tankoa CEO Vincenzo Poerio. “Despite his young age, I consider him to be one of the leading yacht designers in the world. I believe the swimming pool suspended in the bow between the upper deck and main deck is a visionary idea by Alberto, who once again amazes with innovative solutions,” adds Giuseppe Mazza, Tankoa Sales and Marketing Manager.
I spoke with Mancini about his journey into the world of yachting and how he approached the innovative design of the Apache superyacht, unveiled at Monaco Yacht Show 2021.
The beach club on Apache
A bird’s eye view reveals Apache’s modern, sophisticated architecture
How did you get into yacht design?
Since I was a child, I was fascinated by cars, but I grew up in the port of Trieste so I spent all my childhood sailing with my father on my family’s sailing yacht. In the end, my passion for automotive met the culture of the sea. When I was 18, I moved to Turin to study transportation design but after the first year of the course, I decided to jump into the yachting field – instead of designing a car for my final project, I designed a sports yacht.
Then, in a very naive way, I picked up the phone and called the Riva shipyard and said “I’m a young designer, could I join you?” At the beginning, they were shocked, but the guys on the phone said, “If you don’t try, how can you start your career?” So with a bit of good timing and chance, I got my first job at Riva. It was an exceptional start to learn about beauty and propulsion.
I then wanted to live abroad so I spend a couple of years with the Ken Freivokh design team in the south of England where I was involved with the Maltese Falcon. Finally, I went back to Italy and set up my own design studio in 2010, first together with a partner, and then on my own.
Why did you move AM Yacht Design to Monaco in 2018?
My dream was to move to Monaco. I’ve always been attracted by the capital of superyachting and when I came here, I felt a fire inside of me. So, I said to my design team, “I’m moving. If you want to, join me.” Some of them are still with me now. Since moving to Monaco, I’ve changed the way I approach design and clients. It’s opened up my mind. I’ve never thought for one moment to go back to Italy.
The pool flows into Apache’s master suite
The master cabin
Why was this collaboration with Tankoa so important to you?
I’ve been working for several years for shipyards like Azimut but when Tankoa proposed for me to sketch lines for some big yachts, it was something new. It was the first time I could express myself on a big size yacht. I’d had many ideas in my mind but finally, I could put them on paper and show them to a shipyard.
What was your process behind designing the Apache concept superyacht?
First of all, I sketched the main lines. I decided to go for horizontal, vertical lines so the architecture is very modern, sophisticated and sculptured. It was like taking a block of marble and starting to sculpt. The result is one big piece of art because each deck is connected. But it’s more than art – it has to have function. The layered decks had to offer multiple areas for relaxation and social activities, but the balance between the interior and exterior spaces had to be instinctive, bright and blissful.
Apache dining area
What is your favourite design element onboard Apache?
The flying pool together with this double deck wellness spa idea. It’s something really unique. On the bow, I installed a flying pool which looks like a jewel in the bow, dividing the two decks. The pool is 9.5m in length and cascades down onto a water catwalk in the owner’s suite. When you’re swimming, you have the feeling of flying through the yacht and then walking the catwalk into the cabin.
The beach club with its folding platforms is also unique. I wanted to avoid the typical cave dark effect that today we see in many beach clubs. Apache’s beach club design is not just an area for accessing the sea to be enjoyed only when anchored during the day; it is fully integrated with the main deck salon so it can be used day or night as an extension of the outdoor living space.
The split-level wellness spa
Folding platforms extend the beach club onboard Apache
I’ve been covering the global luxury industry for more than a decade. Formerly editor-in-chief at high-end lifestyle magazine Tempus, I’ve held senior editorial positions
I’ve been covering the global luxury industry for more than a decade. Formerly editor-in-chief at high-end lifestyle magazine Tempus, I’ve held senior editorial positions at publications across the EMEA region such as Concierge, the UAE’s premiere resource for HNWs. A BSME Award-shortlisted editor and a keen storyteller, my focus areas include innovation in yachting and travel, sustainability within the luxury sphere, and topical issues impacting UNHW communities around the world. Career highlights so far include interviewing HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, launching the UK’s first independent daily luxury news site, and wingwalking on top of a plane in Dubai.