"We have worked together with Frank Laupman for over ten years now," said Hugo Verlinden about the Dutch designer. "He is extremely creative in his designs and works exactly according to his clients wishes." Laupman set up his studio, Omega Architects, in 1995 following a five year period at Heesen Yachts as an in-house designer. He has worked closely with the shipyard on numerous projects over the years including the exterior styling for 65m Galactica Star. Here the designer shares his thoughts for the future.


Frank Laupman (images by Justin Ratcliffe)

The studio has been behind a number of projects over the years but which is your favourite?
Galactica Star has been one of our favourite designs because it proves that we could deliver the exact amount of innovation at exactly the right moment. Another one is the design for Yalla, a 74m yacht built at CRN Costruzioni Riparazoni Navali SpA in Ancona for an owner who we have known for a long time. The Italian yard considers this yacht to be ‘iconic’ and the ultimate example of ‘sporty elegance’, which was new to them at that time.
 
How do you think the design of yachts will change in the next 10 years?
For bigger yachts, our focus will be on emphasising the functionality of our client’s yachts. The investment they make requires serious planning, and a close look at what they like to do and how this impacts on crew facilities, storage and versatility.
When it comes to guest accommodation it will be even more important for owner’s to make the most of their investment. Panoramic views, which we try to achieve, can be important. Some clients might opt for greater protection with the incorporation of higher bulwarks to maximise outside deck spaces. This in turn might lead to a change in the design approach and we’ve seen the need for unique approaches to satisfy client’s needs.
When thinking about shipyards, it becomes a case of trying to help them develop their platforms, which requires being a little more ‘middle of the road’, and trying to combine the many aspects needed to make a successful yacht.Maintaining the shipyard’s corporate identity will become even more challenging in the years to come.



What are the main challenges you face during a yacht project and how are these overcome?
The biggest challenge is to get the right team together for a new project. We work closely with shipyards and owners, who are very aware of the importance in choosing the right representative for their projects. However, we have been lucky enough to have avoided any such issues over the past few years thanks to existing and strong working relationships.