Thirty years and counting

Nuvolari Lenard celebrates its 30th anniversary at the 2022 Venice Boat Show, from 28 May to 5 June.

01 June 2022


Nuvolari Lenard, one of the world’s most active yacht design, owes its success to its founders’ passion for design and strong relationship with the sea. Based in Venice, the studio is closely involved with the city’s academic institutions and has been an active supporter of the Venice Boat Show since its inception.

Nuvolari Lenard create both one-off designs for superyacht shipyards Oceanco, Lurssen, Palmer Johnson or CRN as well as series boat designs for production builders like Jeanneau-Beneteau.

Since the founding of the studio in 1992, in addition to yachts, the team has developed a diverse portfolio that includes aircraft and residential interiors, but their work is always defined by a profound sensibility for design in all its varied forms.

“I think we’re good at what we do because we’re passionate about what we do,” says Carlo Nuvolari, Nuvolari Lenard’s founding partner.

“We treat each new project with fresh eyes as if it were our first and never allow ourselves to become disillusioned or cynical. A crucial aspect of all our projects has been the fact that both of us grew up sailing.”


“I’ve always found it bizarre that there are a lot of people in this industry, from designers to builders, who don’t go boating or have a relationship with the sea. That, to me, seems fundamental if you want to design or build yachts.”

Nuvolari recalls the milestone moment when an impromptu meeting with Mike Kelsey Sr, the former owner of Palmer Johnson, led to the young design duo designing the exterior and interior of 59.5-metre La Baronessa (later Pearl).

Delivered in 1998, she is still the largest all-aluminium yacht built in the United States. That project set them on their future trajectory and epoch-making superyachts such as Nord, Alfa Nero, Vibrant Curiosity, Lady M, Quattroelle and Atlante, but also sailing yachts like Perini Navi’s Spirit of the C’s and Oceanco’s radical Black Pearl.

“We appreciate working with partners who don’t shy away from a challenge,” says Marcel Onkenhout, CEO of Oceanco.

“It has been a pleasure to watch Nuvolari Lenard’s designs make a positive impact on the yachting industry over the last 30 years and to have personally worked together on a number of game-changing projects that have altered what we think is possible on a superyacht.

“Bravo, Carlo and Dan, for your enduring passion and remarkable achievements over the last three decades. We look forward to many more iconic projects in the years to come.”

“We have worked together on some extraordinary projects,” adds Peter Lurssen, CEO of Lurssen. “Without the creative input of Nuvolari Lenard Design, these yachts would never have become so outstanding. Congratulations on the company’s 30th Anniversary.”


Nurturing young designers

Dan Lenard and Carlo Nuvolari, as well as studio partner Valentina Zannier, are active speakers at yachting events and firmly believe in nurturing young design talent.

Five years ago, the studio assisted in setting up a Masters course in Yacht Design at the Luav University of Architecture in Venice.

“Dealing with young people who are still free of contract terms, delivery times and technical specifications is incredibly rewarding and reminds us that design must be a free activity linked to originality, imagination and innovation,” says Dan Lenard, Nuvolari Lenard’s founding partner.

“Our interaction with these students is all about forgetting about business and getting back to the fundamentals.”

Apart from the University of Venice, Nuvolari Lenard also maintains links with the Politecnico di Milano, Coventry University and the Luiss University of Rome. In fact, Nuvolari accompanied a group of Luiss students to the 2022 Dubai International Boat Show.

“Our firm has always been very active involving young people and students in the design process both at university master’s and internship,” explains Valentina Zannier.

“We believe young generations must have a deep understanding about how creativity and functionality meet in a yacht and how these two principles are essential.”

Simone Feltrin, Studio Partner adds, “Even though I have been converting Nuvolari Lenard’s way of working for almost 20 years by equipping it with the most up-to-date design software.

“I still push the young designers who come to us firstly to express their ideas with pencil and paper and only later to elaborate the projects using software and computers, in order to stimulate their creativity, which is the characteristic that distinguishes us.”

Carlo Nuvolari is proud of his Venetian origins, with Nuvolari Lenard working closely with the Venice Boat Show organisers to coordinate lectures, technical conferences and other initiatives.

This includes the MUVE Yacht Projects together with the Foundation of Civic Museums of Venice, that each year organises a design competition where Carlo Nuvolari is on the scientific committee and jury.

This year’s edition will see an exhibition of the best projects, including two racing sailboats built by the Politecnico di Torino and Uni Trieste, in the magnificent setting of the Arsenale.

Nuvolari will also present a public lecture on 1 June entitled Shipowners’ Sensitivity to the Environment as part of a conference organised by Assomarinas.

“After 30 years of activity it would be a shame to keep our accumulated experience in a drawer and not share it with a younger audience,” says Nuvolari.

Furthermore, the keel playing ceremony of Project NL373, a 65-metre Nuvolari Lenard design for CRN, took place recently. The yacht will be fitted with a hybrid propulsion system which allows the yacht to cruise at low speeds thanks to electricity supplied by onboard generators.

“We tried to best interpret the elegant taste desired by the owner,” says Lenard.

“For now, we can only say that it will fully embody the values of Made in Italy through the expression of Italian quality.”



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