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Design and Technology

In Conversation with Andrew Winch

The name behind many of the most beautiful superyachts on the water, Andrew Winch shares his design philosophy, icons and inspirations.

Winch Design is one of the world’s most renowned superyacht design studios where, over the past 30 years, its drawing boards have produced some of the finest yachts ever built. Pursuit sits down with Andrew Winch, the man behind the brand, to find out more about his design philosophy and inspirations.

andrew winch group photo

What for you makes good design?

Nature and natural forms, anything inspired by the sea. It is important to push the design as well as the technical boundaries. Winch Design is about producing dynamic design, whatever the project. We don’t have a “house style” and view each project with a completely fresh eye.

What still inspires you?

I am inspired by so many different things every day! I love a pared-back aesthetic but also embrace different design styles, such as Art Deco or Mid Century. I’m not excited by replicating design. It’s not my enthusiasm. Why would you want your private yacht to look or feel like your plane or home? My inspiration is the quality of design. I have just as much fun designing a Jeanneau 64 sailing boat as I do designing a 160m superyacht. I am inspired to continue pushing the boundaries, in terms of creating the ultimate marriage of form and function. We want to be at the forefront of design innovation – a leader, never a follower.

You say that what makes Winch Design special is that it doesn’t have a house style, but what is your personal style? Are there any of your yacht projects that resonated with you on a level of personal style?

Overall it is natural forms, the colours of the sea and texture that probably best define my personal style. Winch Design’s aim is to strike a fine balance between beauty, functionality, pragmatism and creativity to realise our clients’ visions and answer their every desire. We are building them a lifestyle that crosses boundaries and is not defined.

We work with some incredible materials and products from some of our most valued suppliers. From a traditional interior such as Areti to a contemporary interior such as Cloud 9, I love the different textures materials can create. The Cloud 9 interior was based around the senses and for the family, so we used sand tones, vibrant blues and a treasure trove of decorative shells, corals and agates placed inside multiple niches. Brushed Douglas fir and limed oak — two of some 50 surface materials used on board — also convey the idea of the beach house, but realised on a larger, more luxurious scale. We wanted it to be an envelope, a cocoon. It’s the same pattern on the ceiling and on the floor to give you a sense of relaxation.

Who are your design icons?

Zaha Hadid is a true inspiration – her ability to capture the imagination through architecture was magical.

cloud 9 yacht interior

How have you seen the world of superyacht design evolve over the
years?

Design evolves and changes so quickly but I think the major change has been in space planning. Clients now live on their yachts for longer and they are very much viewed as a home rather than a holiday boat. We therefore need to really look at how the space works for leisure, family, business and entertaining and ensure the flow of guests as well as staff is an integral part of the design. We are also seeing a more relaxed approach to the interior design and more dynamic lines for the exterior.

What excites you about the future of superyacht design?

I am excited every day by new innovations and inventions. With the changing attitude towards the environment and ever – evolving technology, eco-friendly superyachts will have to be designed. We will face the challenge of minimising their environmental impact.

Can you tell us about any exciting projects across sea air and land that you are working on this year?

There are lots of exciting projects going on in all three departments which we will be able to talk about further in 2018. The Architecture team have some really iconic, contemporary projects in the pipeline. One being a private residence on the cliff in Cape Town.

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