By Arwa Lodhi
Centuries ago, humans started exploring the seas, powered by nature: the simple energies of the tides and wind took us around the world and back. For better or worse, explorers from the Vikings to Columbus discovered new lands this way, but in modern times, it seems we’ve preferred to use fossil fuels to explore the oceans – much to the detriment of the sea and its living creatures, and the planet as a whole.
Fortunately, increasing numbers of luxury boat makers are going back to basics, including the makers of the Bolla eco yacht. The idea behind the Bolla project is to create a sustainable yacht the shape of which can exploit natural resources to create its own energy.
First, let’s talk about the exterior design of the boat. We love it, because it reflects the white, curved shapes of houses that have long dotted the Mediterranean coast. The irregularly shaped windows are reminiscent of mosaic tiles from the region, and the shape of the stern’s striking outer shell that embraces the yacht captures natural airstreams and channels the inside the yacht, thus working as a sustainable supplement to the boat’s refrigeration system.
What’s most unique about the Bolla though is its own vegetable garden, which has been created inside the large central sphere to provides fresh produce on board. The floating garden has other functions, too: it creates a natural filter between the exterior and interior environments. The natural light and the heat coming from the large central sphere are filtered by the garden. Thus, it lets in the light, but in a natural way and contributes to reducing the heat from the large glass windows.
To help fuel the boat, photovoltaic solar panels were installed on the highest and most oblique part of the central sphere which added to the sustainability of the project. The designers of this Italian project, which include Timothy Baldacci, Paolo Festa, Andrea Magri and Veronica Vergari, won the A’Design award last year for their innovative creation.
Who is the ideal client for such a boat? It seems the design team has a definite idea in mind: “He was born in Tuscany into a family that possessed land and cultivated wine. As a child he loved to go snorkeling along the wonders of the Tyrrhenian coast which is characterised by a rocky seabed and clear blue sea. Then with his family, he opened an Italian restaurant and had great success, great fortune, but it left him no time to pursue his passions. Today he devotes himself to diving and the sea thanks to this yacht.”
Sounds interesting, and pretty specific…but what about considering a writer for a sustainable magazine who has a love of all things natural and the Mediterranean coast, but doesn’t have a superyacht budget…?
Images: T Baldacci, P Festa, A Magri, V Vergari, 2015