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OID on creating the ‘timeless’ Riva 50M superyacht

Design New-Build
Written by
Vivian Hendriksz

Riva is set to firmly step into the superyacht industry with the impending launch of its first, semi-custom, 50-metre vessel. Scheduled to be delivered next spring, the new Riva 50M is the debut superyacht to stem from the brand’s newly formed Superyacht Division and will be the first flagship model.
Created in collaboration with Mauro Micheli and Sergio Beretta, the co-founders of Officina Italiana Design (OID), the Riva 50M will embody the timeless and luxurious appeal of Riva’s smaller yachts, featuring sleek and clean lines with close attention paid to her interior and exterior spaces. In order to learn more about the design behind the new Riva 50m superyacht, we take a moment to speak with Sergio Beretta and Mauro Micheli, CEO and Creative Director respectively at OID.Riva 50M in AnconaPhoto: Riva"Whenever we are given a brief to create bigger yachts, we aim to create something simple and aesthetically beautiful - we strive to create a long lasting design,” explains Beretta, who first founded OID with Micheli 25 years ago. “We do not like to incorporate all these ‘flashy' ideas that you may see at other shows on larger yachts. Our initial brief for the Riva 50M was clean and elegant lines, nothing too loud. I believe that what we are seeing now in the world of yacht design - especially when it comes to the larger yachts - is more complex solutions and gaudy lines. We think the industry is missing a sense of simplicity.” 

While designing the first 50-metre Riva yacht Micheli and Beretta turned to the world of art for inspiration for her exterior lines, rather than the world of yachting in order to create a superyacht which truly captured the essence of the Riva brand and DNA. “We always look to art for our pure, aesthetic research - both ancient and contemporary art.”Riva 50m under construction in Ancona Photo: Riva With a background in art, Micheli, together with the rest of the team at Officina Italiana Design visit art museums, galleries, and shows for inspiration for their designs. This resulted in an exterior design defined by sleek, yet simple and classical lines. “She has a great personality: she has three straight lines that define each level,” says Micheli. “The design is clean, we refused to incorporate overworked, elaborated and redundant lines.” The designers ensured they paid close attention to the use of glass to flood the interiors with natural light and help connect them with the surrounding environment as well as the exterior spaces. Mauro Micheli and Sergio Bereta OIDBut the new 50-metre design had to be more than just aesthetically pleasing, which is why Micheli and Beretta also looked to the history of the brand in order to incorporate the brand values into their design. “Look at Aquariva for instance - she is now 18 years old and we never did a restyle on her," points out Beretta. "But the model is always being produced each year as there is always one sold - underlining her long-lasting appeal and timelessness. Riva has produced more than 280 Aquarivas to date and they are still producing them with the same styling - something that we would like all our boats to achieve.” This is in part why the Riva 50m bears resemblance to the classic styling of Carlo Riva’s motor yachts, such as the Caravelle line from the 1960s and 1970s, which have been described as the gentleman yachts. Riva 50M in AnconaPhoto: RivaAt the same time, the duo also freed themselves of all the traditions linked to Riva in order to develop a more contemporary design to appeal to a broader audience. “Even with a traditional brand like Riva you have to find a way to be contemporary and make the best use of innovations in design, otherwise the brand will not survive. Sometimes the tradition behind a brand can be very heavy. Mauro always says that you have to metabolise the brand to create something new - you have to chew it and digest it to be free to make something new.” 

This sense of innovation is reflected in the location of the Riva 50M galley, which is located on the lower deck rather than the main deck for a better space allocation, with a central dumbwaiter for service to all four decks. “It is a different layout which allows for more space to be obtained on the main deck, especially for the master suite,” adds Micheli.Riva 50M in AnconaPhoto: RivaWhile Beretta and Micheli believe the overall essence of Riva comes down to a few key materials - quality ones like wood, leather and steel, they both agree that the style of a Riva yacht is different from all other shipbuilders. “The surfaces, for instance, the management of the surfaces, the harmonised lines and the volumes really set Riva apart. You also can sense it is a very high-quality yacht when you see one, not only when you and touch it. A Riva yacht gives you this feeling that you do not get on a lot of yachts, which may be more glamorous or flashy,” says Beretta.  
 Mauro Micheli and Sergio Bereta OID
“You can see when a yacht is from Riva, especially when it is among others in a port,” adds Micheli.  

The SuperYacht Times iQ Report

The SuperYacht Times iQ 2018 Report

Did you know that in 2017....

  • 180 new yachts over 30 metres were sold
  • 149 new yachts over 30 metres were completed
  • 443 yachts over 30 metres were under construction
  • 30% of the yachts under construction were available for sale
  • 20% of the yachts were owned by clients from the USA
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