La Spezia (Italy) – Cantieri Baglietto

February 2017

2 Months

  • Tadelakt

The Work

The work we carried out in spring 2017 is definitely among the ones I’m most proud of. First of all, because it was the first time that an Original Tadelakt finiture had been realized on board of a luxury 40 meters long yacht.

This work represented a huge challenge, due to the prestige of the task, the special kind of customers who requested it, and, above all, the technical complexity of the execution. 

All these peculiarities pushed me to take care of this project personally. I started to follow from the time the ship was still inside the shipyard, precisely in Cantieri Navali Cerri – La Spezia (Italy), until its first official sea voyage.


Progetto esterno dello yacht Fuoriserie Kanga 40

At the beginning of 2017, Cantieri Navali Cerri contacted me on behalf of the New York firm “Architecture at Large”, founded by the architect Rafael de Càrdenas. The architect Sabrina Iorio was in charge of this particular project. As mentioned above, it was a very unique request, because I was tasked with the realization of some Tadelakt bathrooms on board of a luxury yacht; in particular, 4 out of 12 bathrooms within the ship. As I noticed during my first site inspection, the total amount of surfaces I had to work on was approximately 50 square meters. 

This project’s particularity wasn’t in its shape or dimension, but in its position. Working in a yacht bathroom is very uncommon, and such an unusual work can hide big issues for a material as delicate as Tadelakt is.


In general, the operating conditions are crucial to succeed in this kind of work. You have to make sure you’ll be able to work with the right humidity level and enough space, since it will be necessary to operate on the floor and ceiling.

Once evaluated the general conditions, it is necessary to identify which movable components can hide risks for the realization of a perfect Tadelakt that will last in time. This is a fundamental issue in such works, where the customer expects high quality and an extreme care for the details.

We started on march 2017 and carried out the work during the building process of this massive ship, a 40,80 meters Fuoriserie Kanga by Baglietto, placed inside the shipyard Cantieri Navali Cerri, a very important company that operates since 1997, located in La Spezia (Italy).  Let’s see the different phases that led to those luxury Tadelakt bathrooms. 

Initial Stage

Due to the fact that the bathroom was fully tailor made, the processing base was made in marine wood – a widely used material in ships – on which we placed a two-component resin for naval use (applied by the constructor), that guarantees a strong hold.

Before applying the material, I checked bottom’s tightness. Then, by using materials like grids, I made sure to stabilize the parts that could move or swing during the shipping, like the shower framework and the waste system. The problem is that even little movements could generate cracks in the materials over time.


I started by sanding the base, and then I applied a rough clinging based on resins and hydraulic lime, in order to enhance the material’s seal. After that, I created the “peel” on the base by using a roller after the second spread of the bottom with a spatula. Before starting the material laying, I ensured a proper humidity level.

I made the first material laying on the wall with a trowel made of cedar wood, designed for a consistent and smooth material distribution, moistening it when necessary, since during this phase it is crucial to avoid spots of accumulated material.

After the first phase, I waited 2-3 hours before proceeding with the Tadelakt laying with a steel spatula. In this phase it is very important to choose the right moment to apply the second layer, and there are two common errors: you can wait too long, the material oversolidifies and this affects its tightness; or you can wait too little, and the base is still too fresh to hold the second laying properly. In our spercific case, the material struggled to dry, due to the lack of air recirculation. For that reason, I used a dehumidifier during this entire phase. 

Then I moved to the final phase: the stone sanding and the black soap laying, both essential parts of the original, authentic technique of Marrakech Tadelakt. Finally, after spending about 15 days waiting for the correct absorption of the previously applied materials, I applied beeswax, carnauba wax and citrus solvent on the surface. This phase has the aim of strengthening the waterproof characteristics that are already naturally present in Moroccan lime. The working process and the materials used are 100% sustainable, and don’t require any synthetic agent.

Work Completed

The choice of the Original Tadelakt for those luxury bathroom was not casual. The architects in charge of the project are very focused on the sustainability, and Tadelakt is made of 100% natural, bio sustainable materials and working process.
Obviously  the esthetic side of the final result is relevant, and, as well documented by the photos, choosing natural color was a successful decision. The architects were convinced that the delicate natural color of Tadelakt would be the best choice for the fine finishes and the yacht’s luxury interiors. This confirms that Tadelakt is a great choice for anyone who’s sensitive to eco sustainability, but doesn’t want to give up on esthetics.

Who Realized this Work

Evento Restructura Lingotto TO

Nino Longhitano – Tadelakt Master

For over 40 years I’ve worked with commitment and passion. During all my long career in decorative handicraft, I paid particular attention to the materials’ quality, always choosing natural products and relying on handicraft to create high quality works. Since 2009, in my “Atelier di Decorazione” in Turin (Italy), I teach the Tadelakt technique to artisans and decorators who want to learn this wonderful but highly complex art. Over the years, I realized and documented many works using Tadelakt, which are available in my personal page.