Pendennis held onto the newly acquired Aquila for a whole year, painstakingly crafting the artistic vision that inspired her new owners to purchase the 85.6m superyacht. In her former life as MY Cakewalk, Aquila had been crafted as the all-american yacht to contend with the sleek sophistication of the great builds of Europe. After purchase, it comes with a dash of irony that her owners shipped this american beauty to the shores of Europe, to be transformed into a contemporary European masterpiece. As she set sail on her second coming in 2016, she held Italian elegance from the outside – all midnight blue and white; clean sleek lines and generous decks. But inside…. well, inside was a different story.
Close to a thousand-people participated in the refurb of Aquila, a project hailed as the largest of its kind in the UK. Pendennis worked on the exterior styling along with RWD, while Susan Young set to work creating the interior.
One of the major design plays was to remodel the sundeck. The shimmering pool that was once in the aft portion of the deck has now been moved to the forward, and the aft has become a vision of elegant entertainment space with a light up bar and plush central seating. To make this possible – bulkheads had to be stripped back, social spaces completely reimagined, and technical aspects like lighting and wiring refigured. With only 12 months to go, it was a race against time.
Yet the proof is in the pudding. The remodeled sundeck allows for a larger lounge space that can cunningly convert depending on mood – from a DJ booth and drop down disco ball to a cinema screen with surround sound. A wellness center and Jacuzzi pool can also be found on the aft deck.
The exterior design is very much minimalist Italian – creamy whites complemented beautifully by warm teak wood and the layout carefully planned so it makes the best of all that natural sunlight. There is an uncluttered vibe that flows easily, allowing guests to sweep from one space to another without changing mood or feeling – an evolution of space, rather than a grand statement.
Inside the color scheme tells a different story with dark paneling, contrasting tones, and warm sink down carpets. Yet, still that balanced style seeps right in – where everything has its place and even the lighting solutions work to harmonize the mood.
The cinema space is almost a piece de resistance when it comes to clever design. Crated inside its own floating box means that movie goers will be uninterrupted by any engine vibrations or noise leaks from the saloon. This was achieved with the use of dampening pads.
The master suite was another area of sublime re-design. With the relocation of the bulkheads and the bed being moved offset to port, this opened plenty of space up, allowing for a lovely lounge area adorned in dark stained oak to bring another element of contemporary elegance. From the bed you can drink in those panoramic views and the Portuguese terrace is now accessible by private entrance – a fabulous feature for owners wanting personal outdoor space.
Down on the deck and the owner’s saloon carries that sublime Susan Young style – as rich smooth leather meets regal blue tones and tobacco leaf prints behind the bar. You could be mistaken for being in one of Europe’s finest gentleman’s lounges as opposed to a floating oasis.
Another centerpiece work can be found alongside the grand staircase that connects the decks. Crafted by a Czech artist, the 11-meter chandelier is completely custom made, boasting no less than 800 hand blown glass pieces.
Aquilla is nothing short of a mighty rebirth, a palatial refit that has breathed new life into a stunning ship. All yacht owners should be inspired by Aquilla, proof that the imagination knows no bounds and when you have the right team – you can set your sights on new horizons