“This is a really standout yacht. Not because of any excess of highly unusual interiors or any particularly radical yet ultimately ephemeral element, but because of the nature of its design – it is highly personal both in its functionality and the way it was developed”. The words of architect Gianmarco Campanino as he describes Geco, the new 55m from Admiral Yachts which might be described as the flagship brand of Giovanni Costantino’s The Italian Sea Group.
Splashed the very height of the first lockdown in the spring 2020 (‘It was the first streaming launch we did,’ Campanino points out), Geco was the result of a very specific brief that coupled a charter yacht vocation with the needs of an expert owner who likes to spend long periods of time cruising aboard. The two ends of the spectrum might, at first glance, seem difficult to reconcile but actually resulted in the development of innovative solutions and a tricky-to-achieve balance.
On the one hand, a series of very high standard guest hospitality boxes had to be ticked while on the other, the yacht needed to reflect the owner’s lifestyle. To achieve this as well as keeping in mind that Geco would spend most of her her time in the Mediterranean Sea, particularly in Greek waters, the yacht was first carefully planned to ensure there would no clear separation between exteriors and interiors. Additionally, however, a profile, deck development and overall layout that offered guests plenty of amazing daytime space were woven into the equation.
“The most important part was creating a GA that included various areas to guarantee a group of people the kind of privacy that meant they wouldn’t have to spend the entire day together. Hence various kinds of areas to use all together or in larger or smaller groups at different times of day. Geco’s first charter season revealed that the solutions we picked went down well and made her a success”. The GA begins with the beach club at the transom and then the trail is set from there.
“The layout and organisation are unusual for a 55m,” explains Campanino. “It is open to the sea but sheltered on the sides by transparent bulwarks that make for better views all around”. The beach area is one of the signatures of Geco’s heavily car design-influenced profile. “This is a very meticulously designed yacht. Unconventional,” as Campanino puts it.
One of the unconventional elements that expand Geco’s scope is the helipad on her foredeck. Not just because a touch-and-go is a rarity of a craft of this size, rather because this technical area has been redesigned and laid out as an exclusive sea-facing rotunda that can host a very diverse array of guest events thanks to versatile freestanding furnishings. Another step on the journey of discovery of Geco’s seemingly endless possibilities in addition to the sun deck with its forward Jacuzzi and the upper deck where inside-outside is the only adjective that applies.
When its folding doors are opened, the long interior saloon extends right out into the aft terrace. “The inside-outside connection is something we really wanted to emphasise,” explains Campanino. Physically creating that connection is the bar that extends outward from the interior onto the terrace. “A single, exceptionally long bar of almost six metres, that to all intents and purposes, connects back to the dining area”.
But there is a further space that cleverly encapsulates Geco’s spirit: the dining room on the main deck. Located aft and enclosed by a circular floor-to-ceiling glass door that opens on to the outside terrace, it is another powerful signature. Its sweeping views and shelter from the breeze are superb but it also offers diners but also a very unusual design element: the large chandelier over the table.
“I designed it especially for Geco and it was made by Preciosa Lighting, a Polish company that is a leader in the crystal sector. It is exceptionally big and creates an amber glow that is both delicate and impressive,” explains Campanino.
The style aboard is young and fresh featuring natural oak, wengé and beautifully veined ebony in addition to marble, leather and bronzed metal. Italian design is very much in evidence too, creating a sober elegance: everything from Cassina armchairs to pieces from Ceccotti and Poltrona Frau.
“The idea with Geco,” concludes Gianmarco Campanino “was to create a charter yacht that was a surprise in some ways. That would stand out not just for the sake of making a big splash but because its GA would offer guests the opportunity to live the sea as an ever-changing, ever-surprising emotion”.