- Fleet - Valentina Zannier founds new design studio

By Dario Schiavo

Valentina Zannier founds new design studio

SuperyachtNews sits down with the internationally acclaimed designer following the unveiling of her new studio…

Having spent 22 years at renowned design studio Nuvolari Lenard, acclaimed architect Valentina Zannier has opened Valentina Zannier Interiors & Architecture.

Before she graduated in architecture from Università Iuav di Venezia, in her home town of Venice, Zannier was employed by Carlo Nuvolari and Dan Lenard, working alongside another young colleague, Cristiano Gatto, who would soon go on to develop his own reputation.

After graduating, Zannier was given the pilot project that would change her life: an assignment to design a Palmer Johnson 150. The work turned into an exercise in style as Zannier learnt the rules of yacht design. The success of the project, along with her work ethic, led her to a partnership with the Nuvolari Lenard studio a few years later, where she worked her way up from Junior Assistant to Chief Interior Designer and Partner.

Together with Nuvolari Lenard, a studio to which she says she owes a great deal, Zannier has worked with names such as Oceanco, Lürssen, CRN, Amels and ISA Yachts on projects including Lürssen’s 115-metre Ahpo, delivered two years ago; award-winning 90-metre DAR; and Oceanco’s Black Pearl (pictured), a 107-metre sailing yacht. The latter was a real experiment in reproducing a French style inspired by the Palace of Versailles, her hand-drawn designs being the distinctive feature.

Ocenaco's Black Pearl

Before being rendered, all projects are created on paper by pencil as Zannier finds drawing aids her in the construction. “Everything is drawn down to the smallest detail so it is as if I could build the yacht by hand, if I was helped by a carpenter,” she says. This is a fundamental part of her work for the client who, in this way, is involved in the creative phase and witnesses the exact moment when ideas are generated. “Drawing in front of the customer is a magical moment, it makes him dream,” she adds.

“If an owner chooses you, it’s because he knows you and your taste and that is what he is looking for,” explains Zannier. “It is good to see a client happy not only because of what you have made for them but because through you, they have achieved the design pictured within their mind's eye. The designer is simply a medium who puts their experience at the service of the client.”

Drawing by hand is the legacy of Zannier’s artistic training. Her work is recognisable through this precise attention to detail from the structure of the ship to the furniture with rounded shapes and curves that avoid angles and promote an overall organicity.

The new studio is working on a number of projects which cannot be revealed as of yet. However, they are sure to be avant-garde designs anchored in the principles of architecture and design work that are the signature of Zannier’s rigorous training and extensive experience in a remarkable career spanning over two decades in the highest echelons of superyacht design.

OCEANCO 2017 2018 Delivered
106.80m 15.00m 4.00m 2864
Ken Freivokh DesignNuvolari - Lenard
Ken Freivokh DesignNuvolari - Lenard
Dykstra Naval ArchitectsLateral Naval Architects

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Valentina Zannier founds new design studio


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