Heesen Yachts - ELA
ELA (Project Altea) is a 50m full-aluminium yacht below 500GT with a Fast Displacement Hull Form and a shallow 2.15m draft. She is the perfect match for her owners’ plans to cruise between the Mediterranean and The Bahamas. Exterior designed by Omega Architects with interior design by Cristiano Gatto, ELA is the second yacht built on Heesen’s Nova Plus design and engineering platform. ELA is also the first Heesen with an ultra-high-tech peak-shaving battery system.
Buying a fast delivery on speculation yacht is key for superyacht owners today. The streamlined process of building on a proven platform saves time, reduces costs and increases efficiency all round. Pair that with Dutch pedigree, and ELA is a standout yacht. Primarily intended for family use, ELA has also been designed with charter in mind. Consideration was given to the practicality of a white aesthetic by selecting durable materials, and Gatto’s design factors in daily routines, with a central floating staircase that serves as a ‘meeting square’ or navigation point. The staircase is a striking glass and stainless steel sculptural structure that offers functionality and beauty, its engineering also carried over from Nova Plus.
ELA welcomes 12 guests in six elegant staterooms, comprising a total of almost 350 square metres. The owners’ suite is on the main deck forward and features an enlarged 2.20m x 1m en suite double shower framed in Titanium Travertine marble. The remaining five cabins – a full beam VIP, two doubles and two twins – reside on the lower deck. Ombre carpets in the owners’ suite, the lower deck guest suites and the sky lounge – each one in a different colour – echo the tidal motion of powder-soft, sandy-bottom Bahamian waters.
Five cabins are provided for a crew complement of nine. The overall interior is defined by a tranquil and warm design, elevated by refined and contemporary loose furniture. ELA caught the attention of her owners just three months before delivery. Gatto and the Heesen team worked with the client to tailor the yacht to their family requirements.
“The owners loved the interior but were keen to inject a few personalised touches that would reflect their family-centric lifestyle,” says Gatto. “We revisited all the loose furniture, inside and out, selecting new materials for all the upholstery. We also designed bespoke tables, sofas and lamps, all beautifully crafted by Italian ateliers who delivered them in record time.”
The main salon table is one of many playful, unconventional elements conceived by Gatto to reflect the owners’ love of chromotherapy. Created by a team of artisans, each custom piece is made from a combination of marble, lacquer, leather and stainless steel; when switched on they become illuminated by color.
“They wanted to balance the tranquillity of being at sea with the excitement of life aboard a yacht,” explains Gatto. “They were less focused on creating areas to entertain guests and more interested in arranging the design around their family’s needs.”
ELA’s interior is a bold and striking exercise in curvaceous organic shapes. Sharp corners are replaced with smooth-edges. Straight lines give way to a natural ergonomic flow of space. And a stark white palette is punctuated with pops of vibrant colour, stainless steel accents and dark wood contrasts. Stained Canaletto and American walnut are the main veneers used for both flooring and walls. Textured leathers and custom carpets by Luxury Pride deliver a tactile experience. Top tier materials, including silk and velvet are paired with leather trims for an unconventional contrast.
The white leather and smart lighting continue outside on the main deck forward where a cinema setup with bright purple scatter cushions, padded flooring and sun loungers gift the ideal starlit movie experience. Gatto’s bespoke curation extends to artworks, linen, glassware, even the perfumes and soaps in each day head and the types of tea served on board.
ELA’s contemporary exterior benefits from a long waterline profile characterised by a gently reversed stem and chunky spray rails. This is enhanced by the addition of floor-to-ceiling windows that fill the interior with natural light. Powered by two 1,080kW (1,448hp) MTU 12V 2000 M72 engines she reaches a top speed of 19.5 knots and a fast yet highly efficient cruising range of 3,750 nautical miles at 12 knots. This makes her the most efficient yacht of her type built in the Netherlands to date