While they share a lot of the same design and architectural principles, moving into yacht design from a predominantly residential design background can be a challenge, especially if the yachting lifestyle isn’t fully understood. But, on some occasions, there have been scenarios when globally renowned designers have created superyacht interiors at the request of the client, with very special results.
Tino Zervudachi is one of those people; having completed a multitude of pioneering design projects, such as London’s National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Opera House as well as many private residential projects, his work is an eclectic mix of elegance and comfort, making for a special addition to the yachting world.
In 2010, Zervudachi was brought in to restore and upgrade the interiors of 45.2m M/Y Golden Eagle, built by Italian shipyard Picchiotti in 1990. Currently listed for sale with Y.CO for 4,950,000 USD, Zervudachi transformed the yacht into a comfortable, light and stylish project by calling on the fundamental principles of design.
“Many people tend to think that the more materials they have, the more rarefied they are, the more twisted and turned, over-designed and gilded they are, the better, when this just isn’t the case,” explains Zervudachi. “Designers can often get a bit carried away and try and fit too much in, and put too many different materials in a small space, and it all becomes slightly over-styled and very often the antithesis of what yachting really is all about.”
“Designers can often get a bit carried away and try and fit too much in, and put too many different materials in a small space, and it all becomes slightly over-styled and very often the antithesis of what yachting really is all about.”
- Tino Zervudachi
The interiors of Golden Eagle are light, simplistic and textured in order to encourage a relaxed, yet luxury lifestyle on board. As Zervudachi explains, the interiors of this yacht are centred around the lifestyle of those on board; relaxed, calm and family-orientated. It would seem that there is such a focus on achieving the ultimate haven of luxury in the superyacht industry, that sometimes the sense of relaxation can be lost through over-styling.
“The yacht was very old fashioned and needed a bit of smartening up and reorganising of the space in order to suit the way that the owners wanted to use the boat,” Zervudachi recalls. “What was important, we decided, was to change the atmosphere of the boat and give it a slightly more luxurious and less stuffy feel than it had before. The style I guess is quite clean, cosy and stylish.”
Zervudachi, who worked closely with the owner prior to this project, understood how life on board would be, which is what he called upon in the design process. “One certainly does need to have knowledge of the lifestyle on board a yacht to understand what the needs are,” he says. “I have spent many years on boats, so I know what to look out for and what to make the most comfortable for the way of life on board.”
The point with this project is that one wouldn’t feel uncomfortable walking through the yacht’s interior having just got out of the sea. The aim was to give a luxury edge to a space that is inherently comfortable and welcoming, rather than over-styled and ostentatious.
Mostly it’s Zervudachi’s award winning residential work which takes up the majority of his time, but clearly his segue into the yachting word takes a very interesting and fresh perspective towards yachting projects in general. “I think [yacht design] is going through an improvement from what yachts looked like 20-30 years ago,” observes Zervudachi. “People seem to understand the boats a bit better and are not using them so much for showing off, but that’s not to say that this doesn’t still happen.”
Zervudachi’s refreshing approach to yacht design has clearly come through in Golden Eagle, with values that many owners and designers could be inspired by.
Zervudachi’s refreshing approach to yacht design has clearly come through in Golden Eagle, with values that many owners and designers could be inspired by. After all, superyacht interiors are not about just throwing money at a space and gilding the lily. As we all know, you can’t buy class and superyachts aren’t showrooms – it takes experience, knowledge and understanding to get superyacht interiors right, and when they are the result is beyond fantastic.
Image credit: Joy von Tiedema
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