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Insight: Getting to know Enrico Gobbi and his Team for Design

Written by
Laura Nicholls

Having had their designs made a reality by shipyards such as Dreamline Yachts, Hatteras, Rossinavi and ISA Yachts, the portfolio of the design studio Team for Design is one with a strong fleet and Italian flair. The studio’s founder, Enrico Gobbi, has settled in the city of Venice and uses the city’s influential architecture, art and waterways to inspire his team of nine designers and architects. Now on the cusp on the superyacht show season, Enrico Gobbi is working on over seven projects on the Team for Design drawing boards. Keen to get a look in, SuperYacht Times caught up with the designer during the Palm Beach International Boat Show.  

Enrico Gobbi

Let’s start from the beginning, what is your background and how did you get into yachting?

I was born and raised in Venice, surrounded by one of the most evocative architectural landscapes in the world. I attended the University of Architecture graduating with a thesis in the naval field, after that I went to California where I completed my master's degree in exterior and interior yacht design. My career began at Nuvolari Lenard in Venice where I worked for four years as a designer. Then, I founded my own studio, Team for Design, in 2005. Everyone is involved in all projects, but each person has their own specific role.  Utopia Iv yacht cruisingPhoto: Team for DesignIf you could get a boat for yourself, what would it be and why?

Probably it would be around 40 metres, with a sporty yet sophisticated line, minimal objects and detailing, essential lines and clean shapes. I wouldn't need many interior spaces, it would be a day boat with large exterior areas to enjoy the seascape. I also like to imagine myself choosing a sailing yacht of 25 to 30 metres, it would be a design object with very researched details, an essential boat to make the most of the sea.  
 Utopia IV yacht in Fort LauderdalePhoto: Merijn de Waard / SuperYacht TimesWith such a wide portfolio of superyacht projects already, what has been your favourite project, or project you are most proud of, so far?

 I must say that there isn't a specific yacht I am most proud of, all of our superyacht projects are created with a passion that comes from the heart. Probably the most recent yacht that really fascinated us is Utopia IV. This 63-metre yacht was a very difficult project as she is one of the fastest yachts in the world. We started the project by meticulously studying weights and investing in research. She needed to be light and fast so we had to create the perfect compromise between style and performance. The result is a sport yacht with a very high level of styling, made in Italy, with no heavy weighted features on board. A grand coupé of the sea, with a sleek and beautiful profile.  

We liked our client's brief: we were told that the yacht was to be moored in Miami in front of their villa on the bay, needed to fit in with the architecture along the bayside and be visible to everyone. By carrying out studies of her exterior proportions and details and with the help and cooperation of the owners, Mr and Mrs Ridinger, the final result was a very special yacht that we are proud of.  King Shark yacht renderingPhoto: Team for Design

What upcoming trends have you identified or forecast for the future of superyacht design?  

We follow the trends that are of interest to our range of clients and brokers, all of whom are regularly telling us what is sought after in today’s market. But I see many trends in the market. Those that concern us are the trends for yachts of good LOA with a commercial but flexible layout. Clients want new spaces and areas connected to the sea with wide openings and windows. Clients are more particular when it comes to the overall exterior look and aesthetics of their yacht: a grand architecture needs to communicate harmoniously with the sea but also with the ports, they have to be beautiful constructions and not speculative buildings. The exterior line should not limit the interior layout, spaces have to be generous, airy, functional and ergonomic.  

Can you tell us more about what is currently on the drawing boards? 

Currently, we have six megayachts under construction ranging between 45 and 70 metres. We also have a number of important projects above 70 metres under development for private clients and are collaborating with important Italian shipyards. We are also in contact with prestigious Dutch yards for some exclusive new designs.  

Our office carries out and follows a consistent amount of projects, although we limit ourselves to a certain number of commissions because our aim is to achieve the maximum quality possible, research in detail and we also invest a lot of time in the art direction of our projects until they are delivered because we follow our clients throughout the whole project until their dream is made into a reality. Team for Design also has a residential department, which consists of approximately 20% of our work as 80% remains as yacht design. Our clients often ask us to develop their private villas, both the interior design and architecture.  King Shark yacht renderingPhoto: Team for Design

What would you say are the three most important principles of design? 

The first element that makes a superior design is the proportions. The basic proportions at the start of a concept are what will make a product an aesthetically pleasing item. Secondly, it needs functionality, which cannot be compromised in any successful design. The third element is found in the details. From the large overall proportions down to the small details, these are the elements that make a high-class product. Details make the difference between one product and another and I have to say that we care about the details.  

What is your money-no-object project? 

I would most likely create a large coupé of the sea, between 75 to 80 metres, with a drawn back superstructure and a long hood inspired by the proportions of a fast sports coupé car. The interiors would have a reduced volume, similar to a 50-metre yacht, in favour of very generous exterior spaces. I like the idea of having a lot of green on the yacht so I would include pools and gardens. The interiors would be designed to be sophisticated and luxurious, but not too formal. I would aim to design this yacht in harmony with the sea, the surrounding landscapes and ports all over the world.  Colosseum 86 for OceancoPhoto: Team for DesignHow do you foresee the future of the superyacht industry evolving over the next five years? Where do you see Team for Design in this vision? 

The industry is bound to evolve further and to invest always more in research. In our sector, the requests are increasingly for larger yachts with improved technologies. We will align ourselves with this trend and work hard to make sure our style and our designs embrace the evolution of new technologies that are progressively more environmentally-conscious. Also, yachts that pay attention to nature and are designed more consciously but keep their important length and volume. We are looking forward to dealing with new challenges as this is what makes our work exciting.  

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