Superyacht of the week: The 37 metre Heesen Aurelia
By Jochem Kaan
With race cars and the look of a Dunhill cigarette lighter in mind, one wouldn't necessarily think of superyacht design. Yet, these have been two important sources of inspiration for one of the most recent deliveries from Heesen Yachts: their tenth 37 metres superyacht Aurelia. Launched ahead of schedule back in June 2011, one of her most striking and notable features is her unique exterior colour scheme, inspired by Gulf Racing. With her light blue and orange decal evoking an association with this legendary racing team, her exterior boasts a playful and original aura of retro-inspired sportivity. The application of the number 10 completes this concept while also referencing her hull number.
Exterior design was skillfully executed by Frank Laupman of Omega Architect, proving that sleek and elegant, slightly curvy lines can result in a pleasing eye-catcher without being overly extravagant. Even with her unique exterior colour scheme, courtesy of Dobroserdov Design, she still has a remarkably subtle feel to her. The race car inspiration has been integrated throughout the entire vessel, with all guest cabins named after famous race car designers and the superyacht's name being a tribute to the first ever GT Lancia Aurelia.
With an exterior as particular as Aurelia's comes the expectation of an interior equally special and stylish. With the acclaimed Bannenberg & Rowell taking on Aurelia's interior designs, these expectations are easily surpassed. With a total of four guest cabins onboard, emphasis has been put on supplying guests with extra space and luxury, providing accommodation for up to 8 guests.
The main saloon is divided into a dining area and a lounge space. Aft, the dining area consists of a round dining table surrounded by elegant, contemporary chairs. The lounge area offers a setting with an L-shaped sofa and two armchairs, with an Eco Smart fire place. The overall design is streamlined, subtly modern and slightly masculine or, as Simon Rowell from Bannenberg & Rowell points out “inspired by the Dunhill cigarette lighter aesthetic”. From the Light Walnut herringbone pattern floor to the Bentley-seats inspired diamond upholstered ceiling, and from the fresh green Aston chairs, reminiscent of the famous Aston Martin “mouth grill”, to the leather belt and stainless steel detailing, the saloon oozes references to racing without being too obvious or over the top. The result is elegantly robust with a pleasant subtle retro look and cozy atmosphere.
The saloon's palette of materials is based on dark wood, white and green leather, white marble and stainless steal and the area's design skillfully combines shapes, materials, colours and structures into a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Patterns that faintly reflect the aesthetic of tire tracks are applied here, and throughout the rest of the vessel, on carpets and upholstery. These geometric structures add to Aurelia's personality and form a consistent source of variety.
The owner's quarters are located on the fore main deck and the vessel's two VIP's and one twin cabin can be found on the lower deck. The full beam owner's stateroom cosy, light and spacious, with a warm and toned down version of the main saloon's colour scheme. Several tones of grey and brown form a successful base for this design, where soft materials and clean, lines form an atmosphere that is intimate and soft yet pleasantly vigorous. These quarters offer a cabin with office area and lounging areas, wardrobes and a full beam bathroom, with an equally elegant and robust design based on a contrast of black and white.
Each of the guest cabins located on the lower deck have a similar design in Aurelia's signature style, added with touches of colour like orange, red and golden honey. A warm and private atmosphere can be experienced in all cabins, and the lower number of cabins results in additional extra space and luxury for guests, including spacious en suite bathrooms.
Outside, several areas can be found for entertainment and relaxation. The main aft deck has been designed as an elegant space for lounging. A comfortably large, U-shaped sofa and additional chairs are available for perfect guest comfort.
The sun deck is all abour lounging and soaking up some sun, enjoying a cool breeze. Ample sunbeds are available and an additional aft sofa offers the perfect setting for enjoying the dramatic panorama views. Fore, additional large sunpads and an intimate cockpit can be found for some extra privacy. Additionally, the sundeck can be transformed into a perfectly private al fresco dining area.