Q&A with superyacht designer Felix Buytendijk
What architectural design styles or themes lend themselves well to yachts and why?
Any style from modern/high-tech to classical, as long as you translate them into practical and functional designs.
On the current crop of just-launched yachts we are seeing a fair amount of dark wood contrasted with white paint, leather or upholstery, and also a resurgence of limed or white-washed woods. What do you anticipate the next wood and colour trends will be?
The dark woods will remain a favourite, the other materials will vary.
Do you find that your clients are receptive to suggestions for eco-friendly or sustainable resource products? If so, what products are you recommending/sourcing?
For exterior decks the use of Iroko [African teak] instead of traditional teak is one suggestion.
What technical advances in yacht construction and materials have led to the most significant impacts or changes to interior design during your career as a designer?
CAD/CAM (computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing.)
Following on that, are there classification regulations you would like to change or materials you need to see developed in order to enable any of your wildest design dreams?
These regulations make it challenging and thus interesting.
What percentage of your projects have involved professional, independent project managers? Are any of these current projects?
The percentage is increasing, and yes, in current projects.
Have you noticed an increase in your clients’ desire for outdoor living space? What are some of the latest and most useful ways you have utilized outdoor living for your clients?
Greenhouse type of indoor spaces that could easily become outdoor.
Are you receiving requests for unique water elements (whether indoor or outdoor) such as waterfalls, large pools, fountains, etc?
Large pools, with holding tanks.
Many designs never make it off the drawing boards. Name one design you have created – it could be a boat, a room or a piece of furniture – that for one reason or another never made it to fruition, but you think should have.
A 105m design with titanium veneer on a GRP superstructure.