Maritime culture underpins the work of Enrico Gobbi and Team For Design
by Emilio Martinelli
photo Giovanni Malgarini
“No, they aren’t fashionable yachts. Quite the contrary: they’re timeless,” Enrico Gobbi is adamant about the kind of craft produced by Team For Design, the studio he founded in Dubai in 2005 to tackle a double commission. “It was for a yacht and a penthouse,” he explains. “The client wanted a contact in situ and Team For Design was born. “
Venetian Gobbi has a degree in architecture from the University of Venice and later gained a masters in design from the US after which he spent four years working in a design studio. Then came his ﬁrst yacht proper (an 86’ Dominator) and the decision to set up Team For Design. Penned by Gobbi and his eight-strong team, the studio’s headquarters is located in an area formerly used to warehouse coal but now home to design studios, homes and hotels. Just a stone’s throw from the centre of Venice, it also overlooks a canal that leads into the lagoon itself.
A superb calling card for potential clients together with a nice collection of homes and lofts for owners so pleased with their yachts they returned for more. Although all singular, Gobbi’s yachts all have the same inimitable stamp. “Particularly in the exterior lines,” he tells us. “They’re very streamlined with certain elements borrowed from the car sector and nature herself. They have very sleek overall proportions. That’s an unequivocal imprint that crops up again in details such as windows inspired by marine forms. We’ve never really imposed our own style in any of the interiors we’ve done. But we’ve never simply turned it into a purely business arrangement either. So if an owner asks for something that’s just too much or strange for us to pull off, we walk away. Because regardless of whether they are modern or classic, the imperative with our interiors is always good taste.” And whenever possible, Gobbi’s favourite material – leather – is used too. “Even on the walls. Leather is a living thing, simple but very rich. In the most modern kinds of interiors, I like onyx, it’s a luxurious material, quite three-dimensional when it’s backlit.”
Rossi Navi, Dreamline, Mondo Marine, Hatteras, Dominator, Performance, Regal and Oceanco are just some of the clients in Team For Design’s portfolio. The designs it has produced for each differ greatly but the same seafaring culture is at the centre of each one. “This is a factor that sometimes gets lost,” continues Gobbi. “Today we’re seeing real ﬂoating palaces that really have very little to do with the seafaring culture that actually should be your ﬁrst port of call when you’re designing a yacht. It’s something you have to nurture. I include myself in that too. You can’t standstill in yacht design because there is constant innovation. By which I mean the new technologies and sustainability.”
Team For Design has delivered a top-secret 63-metre and the 48-metre Ketos for Rossi Navi, dipped a toe in sailing waters with an 80’ and also has a 130 metre up its sleeve. Not bad going for a studio about to round the 10-year mark. We leave the last word to Gobbi himself: “Our yachts aren’t fashionable but they feature a lot of strong, innovative elements that don’t age and are an expression of an intrinsic solidity.”