This year has provided the market with a plethora of interesting and sometimes unusual ideas, from conceptual designs for vessel conversions such as the 280m Imara by Motion Code: Blue to Pastrovich Studio’s single deck layout X-Kid. While last year saw an increase in the inclusion of drive-in tender garages and departure lounges, 2014 has seen examples of inside/outside concepts in designs including the BV80 by Eidsgaard Design for Blohm + Voss, Roland Friedberger’s Assina and Feadship’s The Life Aquatic.

We’ve also noticed the increased use of red, with the colour appearing as a detail on the exterior of concepts such as Solstice, Explorer 60 and E-Motion. While designs such as Titan, La Confianza and Dragonship use the colour in abundance to highlight the shape of the hull and in some cases this extends to the superstructure. Superyacht concepts are not the only objects to carry the colour with certain furniture manufactures opting for a rich red for their pieces such as the Rima coffee table.

While these aspects were evident to us, we were keen to know what the design community has noticed and the lessons they have learned. We speak to designer Fiona Diamond and Marnix Hoekstra to hear what we can expect to see next year and how the superyacht community, along with owners, can help the role of the designer.

The Monaco Yacht Show 2014 (image by Andrew Johansson)

Of the projects you have worked on this year, which has been the most challenging? What have you learned from it that will improve future projects and ultimately enhance an owner’s enjoyment?

“A 57m motoryacht, to be used primarily for charter, was one of the projects we undertook during this year and the challenge was to update the layout to provide guests with more recreation space, while providing the crew with enough space to run a successful charter vessel. We updated the exterior to provide substantial deck space and by moving the machinery to below the lower deck we provided much more accommodation in place of the former engine room. This clever machinery packaging enables more of the luxury interior to be enjoyed by the owner.” — Fiona Diamond, director at Seymour Diamond.

“The project that has been the most challenging for us was Casa. Our aim is to design better boats in less time, and so this project pushed us to the edge of design and technology. To translate this aim into our design we studied the contemporary architecture of Brazilian homes and combined this knowledge with two major trends from VriThink; Transparency and We are Nature. Casa harnesses the power of these global trends and sparked debate that has inspired the next generation of superyachts. Following the trend We are Nature, we designed nothing less than a Hortus aboard Casa, turning the layout of this globetrotting vessel into one of its key features. We shifted the traditional sky lounge back to create a full glass observatory. In front of that we placed the Hortus, which functions as a breezeway. Surrounded by glass bulwarks, the yacht is visually open to the surrounding environment. The Hortus can be easily cooled or heated, but better yet you can be safe with the kids in the elements and can fully enjoy the great outdoors.” — Marnix Hoekstra, director at Vripack.

What will be the biggest challenge for you going into 2015 and how can the superyacht industry and owners help you to produce the next generation of elite superyachts?

“One of the main challenges for 2015 will be managing the rapid developments in technology and incorporating ever changing equipment specifications into our luxury interiors. In answer to the second part of the question, I would encourage owners to set challenges that give designers the freedom to develop truly unique design solutions.” — Fiona Diamond, director at Seymour Diamond.

“Our biggest challenge will be the further implementation of disruptive innovations to create better boats in less time. We’re on a mission to reduce build time by 25 per cent by 2019! As a yacht design, naval architecture and engineering studio, we are involved in the entire building process. We believe our Holistic design approach will be crucial with regard to working on the cutting edge of design and technology.” — Marnix Hoekstra, director at Vripack.

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.