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Design Matters: The Luminaries

The future is bright when it comes to yacht interior design.

February 4, 2016
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Design Matters: The Luminaries
A few think-different ideas became an inspiring sketch and eventually wound up here, in the form of the Custom Line 108. Courtesy Custom Line

A yacht, as  designer Luiz de Basto likes to say, is a “finite object.” But there’s a problem with this: Today’s yacht owners are intrigued by infinite possibilities. More space, more light, more atmosphere, more convertibility, more character — all on a vessel that has a specific length, beam and volume. “Our challenge is to find solutions that transform the yacht,” says designer Bernardo Zuccon, whose family firm, Zuccon International Project, works closely with the Ferretti Group on ideas that stretch comprehension. So, we leave it to the experts on the following pages to answer the ultimate question: How do we fit the infinite into the finite?

Design Matters: The Luminaries
When the 279-foot Lürrsen Pacific lights up, Beatrice Witzgall gets “chills” because the light showcases true character, not just size. Courtesy Lürrsen Shipyard

THE LUMINARIES

Light. It’s so crucial, and so unsung. Think about what happened in the Sistine Chapel a few years ago. The world’s most famous frescos were fading, the atmosphere turning flat. Engineers couldn’t remodel a Michelangelo, so instead they designed and positioned 7,000 new LED lights. The chapel returned to its visible glory when the lights were turned on in 2014.

The same concept is true on yachts.

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“We use light to peel back layers in details and create what I call ‘lightmospheres,’” says Beatrice Witzgall, founder of In3Design, which specializes in lighting design and has worked with clients on projects for yacht builders like Lürssen and Hodgdon.

No two lightmospheres should be the same. During the day, precise window design can work wonders. But at night? New LED technology opens a world of possibilities. For example, the owner of the 96-foot Nordhavn VivieRae wanted a personal touch in the yacht’s master head, so Destry Pethel of Destry Darr Designs is using a new LED strip cove light with diffusers set into the walls and floors of the shower and tub.

For one recent project, Thomas Muehe of Focus Yacht Design was asked to get the starry zodiac sign of an owner’s wife into the yacht’s carpet by means of LEDs.

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“Lighting a space on a yacht is like bringing forth a sculpture,” Witzgall says. “It can take years to get it just right.” And when that finally happens, magic is waiting for the flip of a switch.

Design Matters: The Luminaries
. .

1. THOMAS MUEHE – FOCUS YACHT DESIGN
“Because space is limited, every surface is valuable to us. It makes light design exciting.”

2. BEATRICE WITZGALL – FOUNDER OF IN3DESIGN
“If lighting on a yacht is good, you only feel it. If it isn’t good, that’s when you see it.”

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3. KINDER WOODCOCK – DEVELOPER FOR IMTRA
“Because space is limited, every surface is valuable to us. It makes light design exciting.”

Design Matters: The Luminaries
Linear lighting, like that from Imtra‘s AcXent Linear LED, allows builders and designers to create custom effects from overhead spaces – without the need for individual down lights. Courtesy Imtra
Design Matters: The Luminaries
If you see an “aquarium effect” with fish lit up beneath a yacht at night, it could be that the 18 Series Gen 4 Blue lights from Aqualuma are on. They’re the company’s most popular underwater lights. Courtesy Aqualuma
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