When we commenced our deliberations on the 7MA project, later to be known under the designation SEVENTY 7, we first discussed it in order to answer the three classic questions that we address for every new project: To do what? Where are we coming from? Where do we want to get to?
The answer to “To do what?” was found in the words of Bruno Belmont prior to the start of the project: “Give the SEVENTY 7 the DNA of the Yachting world.”
To answer the question "Where are we coming from?", since my incorporation into the VPLP team as exclusive designer, I’d spent a lot of time talking with Marc Van Peteghem about the specific characteristics of the Lagoon brand, its history, its values, and I’d summarised my understanding of Lagoon’s specific characteristics as follows:
- A strong personality… rather than conventional elegance
- It’s intelligence… rather than power
- It's a vision… rather than tradition
- It’s reassuring robustness… rather than lightness at all costs
- It’s "High-Touch" ... rather than the unbridled pursuit of "High-Tech"
Finally, what came out of the question: "Where do we want to get to?" was the desire to increase the emotional charge of the Lagoons, giving them greater charm to accompany the architectural breakthroughs that have made the brand an archetype. After all, if the architect Philip Johnson, very much an American landsman, said humorously: “Architecture is the art of wasting space”, this does not apply to naval architects in general and even less to VPLP because, in the case of Lagoon, the architecture is at the very heart of its presence. Also, for us, the exterior design of a Lagoon must serve a primary function, whether related to performance or to the quest for the most effective use of the slightest space, a good understanding of use scenarios, the particularity of moving about within a space that is itself in motion, which in itself is far more complex than the architecture of a dwelling or the passenger compartment of an car.
From the outset, we wanted the SEVENTY 7 to be a boat whose design takes its place naturally and isn’t an add-on; first and foremost, it had to be an architecture on whose proportions we would capitalise, because in design, everything begins with elegant proportions. We had to avoid the type of practice that, in my former career as an automotive designer, is known as “putting lipstick on a pig…”.
We wanted to build the SEVENTY 7 drawing on the profound changes that we had already introduced in our latest projects, the Lagoon 39 and 52. We had already developed distinctive features on these, but for the SEVENTY 7 we wanted to go much, much further in our quest for refinements, namely:
- Modify the upper visor-shaped ports, making them more harmonious by lengthening the glazed surfaces and achieving flowing lines.
- Persevere with the levitation effect between the coachroof and deck but, this time, executed from an innovative drawing of the coachroof overhang in the form of a gull-wing, which brings considerable fluency and elegance to the design as a whole.
- Retain the bevelled appearance of the bow, adding greater unity, greater fluency…
- Into the design of the forms, incorporate sleek lines, momentum, compound radii, sculpted volumes, so as to generate a sense of proficiency.
- Finally, to leave nothing to chance, to design everything, to see everything holistically, to produce not a juxtaposition of elements but an orchestrated whole.
We wanted to give effect to this new ambition to provide the SEVENTY 7 with the DNA of the Yachting world with a design that visually proclaims our quest for excellence.