Adapting luxury residential design for good times on Asian seas

When legendary Italian ship yard Sanlorenzo wanted to create bespoke luxury yachts for the fast-emerging Chinese market, it looked no further than renowned Hong Kong architect and designer Steve Leung. A keen yachtsman himself, Steve challenged traditional approaches to boat design, which he says don’t necessarily appeal to Asian sensibilities.

“Yacht design has long been dominated by a Western lifestyle approach, which is very different from the way we live in Asia, especially in China.” explains Steve.

Steve and his design team leveraged their experience of working with Hong Kong’s typically confined residential spaces to create contemporary, functional and people-oriented layouts customized to Asian lifestyle preferences. This includes a focus on dining areas, including round tables to accommodate guests, entertainment zones with foldable TV screens, as well as a colour palette including typically Chinese tones as vermillion.

Steve first collaborated with Sanlorenzo in 2016, joining an impressive list of designers including Piero Lissoni and Patricia Urquiola. Together they redesigned the SL 106 model to tap into the fast-evolving Asia yacht market, through Simpson Marine, Sanlorenzo’s Asia representative. Steve’s most recent work has been on the SX88 (Sport Explorer) range which appeals to a younger generation of yacht owners.

He created a “deluxe floating villa” with an innovative open-plan layout built around a central social hub that connects indoor and outdoor space with floor-to-ceiling glass walls and subtle sliding doors. Clients can choose from two interior design schemes and add their personal touches to create their own luxury floating home.

Steve, pictured above with Simpson Marine group MD Mike Simpson, says great design “has the power to break boundaries”. His work with Sanlorenzo certainly proves that great design can transcend disciplines, in this case from high-end residential architecture to luxury yacht design.