Published in: Wednesday, 26 August 2009
Features > Heesen - Celestial Hope (Page 1/2)

Heesen - Celestial Hope

Heesen’s Celestial Hope showcases some amazing minituae that, taken together, make the latest in its 4700 semi-custom series something awe-inspiring – like the heavens themselves

Dutch superyacht builder Heesen has become known for its semi-custom series of yachts – where the hull and engineering stay the same but the design is up for grabs. The advantage of such a system is that the time-consuming engineering doesn’t need to be reworked, reducing cost and shortening delivery. The trick is to make sure that the client gets a distinctive yacht that emphasises the “custom” in semi-custom.

That task ultimately fell to interior designer Kamini Ezralow. Tapped by the owners to create the feeling of a beach house yet with a luxurious feel, it would seem Ezralow has succeeded. Celestial Hope was awarded Best Interior Yacht Design 2009 at the Asia Boating Awards last March. But there’s plenty more to recommend Celestial Hope, and given that she is available for charter, that should be welcome news to discerning guests. Built to MCA Code, ABS and AMS LY2 standard, Celestial Hope can comfortably handle up to 12 charter guests.

On the outside, the 47-metre Celestial Hope’s most immediate attention-getter is the burgundy striping on the exterior. Most big yachts are done in all white or feature dark hulls. The relatively unorthodox approach was due to a request by the owner to leave behind traditional colour schemes, according to Frank Laupman at Omega Naval Architects, the collaborator with Heesen on the 4700 semi-custom series. Laupman reckons the outer look was probably inspired by airliner livery. This “airliner” look is further accentuated by the sleek styling of the 4700 series, particularly in the sunroof.

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Heading up top, the owner requested the ambience of an interior lounge with homey detailing in the deck items. For an outdoor area, this proved a bit tricky. A central forward bar area with umbrella-style sunshades add to the feel of being in a hip lounge, while plenty of space has been set aside for sunning. With ample cover provided by the hard top, there is room on starboard side for a dining table bordering on a settee and space for eight guests. A curved counter top facing forward on the sundeck provides seating for four more, while a port side settee adds more space for extra guests. The aft portion of the sundeck features an ample-sized, eight-person Jacuzzi for more adventureous nighttime thrills.

On the open forward area of the bridgedeck lies plenty of space for sunning or enjoying the thrill of Celestial Hope’s 27-knot top speed. A large C-shaped settee offers loads of relaxation space just forward of the helm on the bridgedeck. Forward of this area is a very large sunpad that conceals a davit for unloading the twin SeaDoos and 4.1-metre rescue tender that are nicely tucked away at the bow.

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Getting heavenly

It’s on the inside that Celestial Hope really lives up to its namesake. Ezralow’s design firm, Life Styles, was recruited by the owner to develop the look and feel of the beach house belonging to the character played by Diane Keaton in the romantic comedy Something’s Gotta Give, a favourite movie of the owner’s wife. With this in mind, Ezralow began a quest to recreate that Hampton’s look, but with her sights clearly on the stars.

“I like to call it understated elegance,” says Ezralow of her creation. Indeed. Rather than trying to force the glamour, Ezralow took the opportunity to build up the luxury, whether in the materials, the splashes of colour or the refinements, to create something that gets more impressive the closer you look. All the furniture was designed by her firm and built by craftsmen especially for Celestial Hope. In this, there is a very large bespoke element, right down to the embroidery. “It isn’t about any one thing; the luxury in Celestial Hope is in the sum of the whole,” Ezralow adds.

One element of the design that is sure to make an impression – whether you realise it or not – is the reflectivity that permeates the yacht. Everywhere throughout Celestial Hope, objects and surfaces reflect light. There are carefully placed and framed mirrors that increase the depth of field for guests, making the yacht feel roomier. Ezralow also made generous use of verre eglomise, a gilded glass decoration that has precious metals engraved with designs set onto glass sheet. There are even glazed linens, in which the sheets and fabrics have their own sheen. It all adds up to a celestial feel to match the name of the yacht.

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