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Hot Lab reveals the process and vision behind the one-of-a-kind explorer yacht Kaşif.

01 February 2024


Italian design studio Hot Lab are no strangers to creating exquisite yacht interiors at the very centre of bespoke, so when they were approached to develop the interior for a new 41.9-metre explorer yacht being built at renowned Turkish superyacht yard, Bilgin Yachts they took it all in their stride. But this was to be no ordinary project.

From highly experienced owners who stayed central to the project to the design, engineering and shipbuilding prowess of Unique Yacht Design and Bilgin Yachts, the resulting yacht would not only forge a path for a new model of explorer but would also do so with incredible attention to detail and finish in a perfect example of complementary collaboration.

First displayed at the 2023 Monaco Yacht Show last September, the 41.9-metre Kaşif – which translates from Turkish as explorer – combines lithe yet purposeful styling with excellent hull efficiency, meaning she can offer her owners a 5,000-mile-plus range at her economical cruising speed.


Her owners have strong maritime shipping connections, and being a captain and an architect between them, they had strong ideas both for the technical and the aesthetic design elements of Kaşif.

“We quickly realised that the preparation and dedication of the two owners – he a captain and she an architect – would require something more than our usual organisational procedure,” begins Enrico Lumini, Partner and Head of Design at Hot Lab.

“The entire family is strictly related to the sea and the maritime world, and while the husband oversaw most of the technical matters, his wife collaborated closely with us in creating such a beautiful vessel. Of course, both have influenced us in the design in different ways, but their ideas and support have been crucial for the end result.”

Kaşif is the culmination of a collaborative effort with Unique Yacht Design. Emrecan Özgün from Unique Yacht Design describes Kaşif as the true embodiment of an explorer, engineered for exceptional maritime performance.

“Our primary goal was to create a yacht that not only pushes the boundaries of maritime performance but also redefines the very concept of exploration on the open sea,” says Özgün.

The yacht serves a dual purpose for the owner’s business in offshore fish farming, requiring a vessel that is not only rugged but also safe for travel to their farms situated at least three miles from the coastline.

One of the standout features of Kaşif is its hull, which draws inspiration from the acclaimed 80-metre series. This design choice not only enhances efficiency but also minimises fuel consumption while allowing the yacht to achieve impressive speeds.

Kaşif consumes a mere 30 litres of fuel while sailing at 8 knots, and 60 litres at 10 knots, a testament to its exceptional engineering.

Interior elevated

Working with a couple who knew exactly what they wanted made for a challenging project – but that’s the sort of challenge that the experienced Hot Lab team excels at.

Taking a compelling brief from the owners, then translating that brief into a finished design for interior décor and furniture alongside the teams at Bilgin Yachts, Unique Yacht Design and contractor Septemar made for a cohesive and collaborative process that has yielded exceptional results.

“Our goal, together with the owners, was to create a recognisable, intense style, full of details, but at the same time able to be received by a large audience,” Lumini explains.

“Our interpretation of the owners’ wishes was for a modern almost contemporary style both in the geometries and also the materials but, at the same time, full of elements that could recall the interests and activities of the owners.

“We have also tried to modulate the design in such a way that each deck recalls the same style, but at the same time with different elements that are capable of recalling different moods.”


Deck division

The yacht’s layout, developed by Unique Yacht Design, takes an explorer-style profile with the interior volumes pushed further forward in the yacht and then divides the interior guest areas into three key zones, rising across three key decks.

On the lower deck are the guest accommodations, comprising a large VIP cabin, two further VIP cabins and two twin cabins. One deck up is the main saloon and dining area, and then the upper deck offers a second saloon area combined with the owners’ office.

The interior concept developed by Hot Lab with the owners follows these functional changes through the yacht, carrying the same core elements through each of the three decks while using variations in style and highlight colours to give each deck its own distinct personality.

“We started from the use of pastel colours for the cabins on the lower deck, obtained through the use of dyed wood,” Lumini says. “We then used a burgundy colour for the main saloon, both for the entrance arch and as the main colour of the lacquered surfaces of the furniture, and finally for the upper deck saloon and owners’ office we slide into a more masculine shade.”


Designed in detail

From the base canvas and broad, warm palette, Hot Lab has introduced myriad elements in bespoke furniture and signature features that complement the interior style and serve to highlight those facets of the owners’ love of and connection to all things marine.

It’s highlighted in extraordinary elements like the circular lighting feature on the bulkhead forward of the dining table, and the artwork found in the beach club behind the sofa.

“The lighting feature in the dining area was produced by Paolo Castelli,” Lumini confirms. “The main idea was to recall the sea, as with the theme of the yacht, and the piece represents a school of fish swimming together simultaneously.

“For the feature piece in the beach club,” he continues, “that was one that was designed by our team here at Hot Lab before we then commissioned Alex Turco to create it. It is basically an art piece created in resin overlapped with teak stripes, cut in such a way to recreate a wave.

“The idea behind the entire vessel,” Lumini continues, “was to be strictly connected to the water and the sea, and this is the case as well with this piece – the owners wanted to have a strong recall of the surrounding water and we tried to replicate that feeling on the beach club walls as well, almost like if the water and the teak were somehow merging with each other in a single surface.”

There’s even a sea motif carried through to the entrance, designed to remind all as they arrive on board that connection to the ocean.

“We created a 3D very abstract version of a big oceanic fish and made it fully lacquered in a special glossy purple colour with Pirarucu leather in its inner inserts,” Lumini enthuses. “I think that’s something quite special and quite hard to find somewhere else!”

Adding to the cohesive nature of the interior is the fact that all furniture is – as is the case with nearly all Hot Lab projects – specifically designed by the studio team and customised to fit both the owners’ requests and the yacht interior design theme. Kaşif, says Lumini, is no different.

“We designed every single piece of furniture you see on board with a gentle, smooth and extremely organic approach,” he explains.

“The best piece is, for sure, the office desk and library designed for the upper saloon – it is masculine and gentle at the same time, perfectly integrated into the general design of the room and yet popping out its own specific beauty.”

Its own specific beauty is perhaps a description that could be applied to the design and build of Kaşif as a whole, where the holistic approach and constant interaction between Hot Lab, the owners, the exterior designers and the shipyard have resulted in a glorious addition to the fleet.

“It was our first time working together with the owners of this yacht, and hopefully it won’t be the last,” added Antonio Romano, Commercial Director of The Viken Group and co-founder of Hot Lab. “They are a beautiful young couple and I wish them all the success to build many more vessels in their future.”



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