In the design world, it is now universally acknowledged that the look, feel and ambience of a space can have a huge impact on our overall sense of wellness. Therefore, it follows suit that superyachts – designed to be the ultimate escape for body and mind – are increasingly featuring interiors that move away from excess and flamboyance and focus more on calming and peaceful environments. Here, SuperyachtNews looks at how biophilic design is being used to achieve this.
Wellness starts from within, so the saying goes. Increasingly, though, we are becoming aware of the pivotal role played by our surroundings and, as such, this is influencing interior design. While elements of this trend on superyachts have been around for some time through subdued colour palettes, circadian lighting and zoning for wellness activities such as spas, yoga and meditation rooms, one interesting development is the focus on biophilia – the innate human attraction to nature and natural process. Biophilic design is essentially the act of bringing the outdoors in, focusing on creating peaceful, tranquil spaces that reflect the natural outdoors environment.
Wellness and nature work hand in hand when it comes to creating a sense of calm, contentment and tranquility within a space. This has been reflected in superyacht interior design through the use of indoor plants and natural lighting, and natural textures and materials are also becoming priority design features. Not only is a natural aesthetic desirable, but also materials and plant life that offer warmth, shade, a pleasant scent or a feel-good touch are now key considerations for the wellness-savvy client.
The natural interior of M5, by Vripack
Instead of using modern industrial materials such as metals and concrete, natural substances are being used to create a sense of the peaceful outdoors that allows the interior to benefit from the calming effects of nature. This means plenty of untreated wood, foliage neutral stone and minimally processed fabric. All these tend to be found in neutral hues, but they can offer contrasting textures to create depth and a tactile experience. Vripack’s recent project 37.7m explorer yacht M5 exemplifies this technique well. The interior consists of a muted palate of earth-coloured tones with textured fibres and driftwood, ropes and shells. A naturally sourced driftwood dining table provides a focal point in the salon, set among foliage and a natural colour scheme.
Agriculture is taking on a new meaning on some yachts to bring those on board closer to nature. On M/Y Ocean Paradise, the main deck foyer doubles as a Japanese garden to create a meditative space with artfully raked gravel and potted bonsai trees. Sinot’s recently unveiled 120m concept Nature (pictured in main image) goes one step further with a design that aims to harmonise the vessel with its marine environment, featuring an inner garden equipped with climate-control technology.
Many artisans and manufacturers are also creating pieces and concepts inspired by nature to contribute to the biophilic trend. Preciosa Lighting, producers of bespoke chandeliers for the marine environment, recently launched a number of superyacht lighting concepts that are reminiscent of the natural world. Its ‘Nebula’ concept has been designed to mimic stargazing from a ship’s deck. Moved by the brilliance of the night sky, Nebula is constructed of fused glass with the mix of varying colours of chips and bright points of light giving it a celestial feel.
Preciosa's Apollo concept
The ‘Apollo’ concept is also worth mentioning: inspired by the first sunburst of dawn, it radiates a warm and inviting light. The simple design is composed of 58 crystal rods designed to look like sunbeams and, therefore, brings a warming energy into a room. Preciosa also features many other lighting concepts inspired by the movement the sea.
Similarly, Silverlining Furniture’s Refined Nature collection has been created to reflect different aspects of nature, with each idea mixing natural materials and reinterpreting them as luxury finishes for furniture or artworks. One that stands out in this collection is the Kaleidoscope Sunder finish, inspired by fertile landscapes and the mirror effect found when piercing the lip of a breaking wave. The natural iridescent qualities of straw and mother-of-pearl give the illusion of movement created by the overlaying circles.
Silverlining Furniture’s Kaleidoscope Sunder finish
The return to nature through interior design is particularly relevant on yachts because they are surrounded by the most natural setting of all – the ocean. When owners and guests are on board, invariably it is to escape the pressures of everyday life, and biophilic design offers a return to a nurturing space that people inherently yearn for, away from the urban environments where many spend the majority of their time.
A reliance on technology has resulted in many losing the ability to relax naturally; however, on board yachts, interior designers are making use of the calming effects of the sea to create an environment with connections to the natural world that alleviates stress.
This article will appear in full in issue 191 of The Superyacht Report. To subscribe, please click here.
If you have enjoyed reading this article, you’ll love our upcoming event, The Superyacht Design Forum, taking place on 25 - 26 June 2019 at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour. The Superyacht Design Forum provides anyone in the superyacht design world with a unique opportunity to explore new thinking and share smarter solutions for the future of superyachts. To find out more or to register, click here.