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Eric Benqué :

yacht interior design (44m, Heesen Yachts)
private commission

Conversely to any ground design, the first challenge –and interest- when designing a yacht interior, is probably that each piece of the puzzle has to be questionned with regards to its specific environment : the sea.
A boat moves, pitches, wobbles… and you can neither rely on a precise natural light direction, orientation, nor on a view. The surroundings will hopefully be as different and varied as possible.
So each table corner, door, bed or drawer must be thought anew.
Yachts also offer an interesting paradox : whilst weight and space limit are major issues, yachts are places of leisure and fun. There is no room on board for the unnecessary, yet you want a cosy interior and have no backyard shed to store your numerous extra chairs and toys away…
Last but not least, the sea as a context induces new behaviours for the passengers and invites them to take a fresh look at their constantly changing environment.

First was a strong desire for open spaces while designing Jems : let the air and the passengers circulate freely througout the boat. Not cluttering up the spaces or obstructing the relation to the landscapes with objects and overdesigned elements. Tidyness and visual calm allow one to make the most of the surrounding horizon and sea views. Therefore great care is taken with alignments, concealments, and calm compositions of the elements together.
Each piece of furniture is designed to be consistent with life at sea and the way the clients intend to live on board : chairs in the living room are safely half embeded into the walls ; low tables are modular and turn into dining tables or footrests, or hide smaller accent tables ; beds are shaped to maximise the floor surface in the cabins…
Yet this rational approach is soften by the choice of rich textures and colours. The colour scheme is composed of more than a hundred references, organised room by room in specific harmonies. This diversity enhancing again the feeling of a greater space within the entire boat.
Each deck is considered separately : in the lower deck, the bamboo panels follow closely the shape of the hull, creating boat-specific curved spaces and shell-like, protective cabins. The main deck is wide open to the aft, enhancing indoor-outdoor fluidity. On the bridge deck, all the elements align with the horizon line, setting a restful lounge. The sun deck looks up to the sky and sun.
In conclusion, Jems interior design works on two opposite movements : one towards the interior, taking care of all details of life on board, with the comfort and safety required. Each and every element is reconsidered from a nautical point of view, in order to ease life on board and allow a more centrifugal movement for the pasengers : a boat is a way to open to the beauty of the surrounding natural elements and to discover new horizons…