M/Y Venus – Apple of Jobs’ eye
Now owned by Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, VENUS is making her presence felt, gliding in to the world’s most salubrious harbours and certainly claiming undivided attention with her startling design and sheer size.
Designed by Philippe Starck and built by Feadship, VENUS was launched in 2012, the year after Jobs' death, at a cost of more than €100 million. Despite being known as a man of modest tastes and a predilection for minimalism, Jobs worked in collaboration with Starck on multiple revisions of his yacht's form, inside and out.
Once completed, VENUS took the form of a stack of sleek aluminium disks, held between bands of frameless glazing.
In fact, according to Jobs' biographer, Walter Isaacson, the three-metre high windows were developed by the chief Apple store engineer.
In his book Isaacson describes the design process: "The teak decks were perfectly flat and unblemished by any accoutrements ... the cabin windows were large panes, almost floor to ceiling, and the main living area was designed to have walls of glass that were 40ft (12m) long and 10ft (3m) high."
Jobs himself became obsessed with VENUS, fearing that he could succumb to illness and leave his wife with a half-finished boat. "But I have to keep going on it. If I don't, it's an admission that I'm about to die."
Shrouded in secrecy since her launch, and subsequent impoundment until Jobs' estate was settled, VENUS is a veritable "fortress of solitude" for the Jobs family. No pictures exist of her interiors and the Starck design ensures absolute privacy for those onboard, with high gunwales shielding decks and living spaces.
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