Photos by Jost Wildbolz

Wood is a beautiful material that offers designers an array of creative options thanks to the varied choice of tree species, grain types, possible finishes and its ability to be used as a construction material. In Q9 Ed Roberts discussed the importance of this material and the relevance of wood in the industry today. Here consultant Charles Barber discusses why he believes wood to be so important in the interior.

The longstanding connection between wood as a tool and water is much understood and our emotional attachment to this material is unavoidable.  It is possible that 2014 will see the emergence of a new style and approach to bathroom design and especially bathroom components in the superyacht sector.

We know that fine wood is highly appreciated for its aesthetic qualities in the modern yacht but how often is this merely a sample to please the eye? In a sense, and unlike the practical boat builders continuing the centuries old method of the hand carved Makoro for daily use on the Zambezi, the yacht is bearing ever further away from its origin in wood.  Perhaps the only occasion today where wood makes actual contact with water is in the galley as a wooden spoon for cooking. Not exactly the best end result for such a wonderful material.

With a new interpretation of this timeless material, there is the opportunity to experience the qualities of wood in a very direct way through the creation and use of wooden bathtubs and wooden washbasins. While this idea is not new — think John Wayne after a day in the saddle and his cut-in-half cask — a new piece from master carpenter Eva Mechler sees a combination of technical know-how and passion for wood result in an ubiquitous washbasin. It offers a great aesthetic matched with practical value while expressing a sense of living for our time. Perhaps it is the latter that makes this development in craftsmanship and design so very appropriate to today’s superyacht owner.

Inspired by her work in shipbuilding, Eva Mechler has developed an every day product into a rare experience through the warmth and vivid appearance of solid American walnut combined with the coolness and freshness of flowing water. The design accentuates the natural beauty of the material, which should not be forgotten but rather immortalised by carving it into modern works of art that have a practical application.