VIRTUELLE — 79 feet (24m) of sleek, minimalist, fast sailing luxury — represents Philippe Starck’s first foray into the realm of elite boat design in 1999. Prior, Starck’s nautical efforts focused on the still expensive, but more affordable, sailboats of French manufacturer, Beneteau.
Philippe Starck’s design artistry established Virtuelle as a “masterpiece of elegance and technology.” His skill applied to both the exterior design and interior design created Virtuelle’s dual personality as racing-fast cruiser and modern, elite luxury yacht. As racer, her record includes first place finish at the 2001 Maxi Rolex World Championship. As luxury yacht, she was the first salvo into the new millennium for a work of modern architectural naval art.
During the day, Virtuelle’s main interior cabin is brilliantly illuminated by a large central, circular skylight, the shape and concept of which are repeated for the deck skylight and two large hull portholes. The space is designed to define a smooth, modern, minimalist aesthetic while the material — of composite thin glass and colored epoxy resin impregnated into cotton laminate — applied to all walls, floors, doors, and cabinets is to present a surprisingly warm, comfortable environment.
Virtuelle presents a large saloon for entertaining and an elegant dining area with table for eight guests. In typical Starck style, this dining table offers a surprising secondary use as computer/navigation center for the head of the table — with carefully integrated and unobserved, but easily accessible, systems made operational in seconds.
The forward-most cabin offers the owner’s suite and private bath facilities. Mid-ship are two ensuite guest cabins with two twin beds each. Crew quarters sit at the rear of the boat on each side of the engine room.