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Finding Inspiration – Looking at Yachts

— 10 December 2019 by Magnus Strom

Galatea Wally

As architects, we seek creative inspiration everwhere. When we work too hard, party too much, don’t get enough sleep etc., our creative juices stop flowing. You can sit in the office all afternoon and stuggle to come up with a solution to a design challenge. But, if you go home, go to the gym or have a good night’s sleep, when you come in the next morning, the solution is often staring you right in the face!

As such we try and find influence from things outside architecture. This could be art, music, photography, car design, yacht design etc. In this blog post, we look at beautiful yachts. Magnus’s love for yachts comes from a life of sailing and spending time on the sea. He has raced both dinghies, and large keel boats in races such as the 'Fastnet Race', and been part of a winning team in the ARC race across the Atlantic.

When we designed the Superhouse, we worked with the late Ed Dubois, of Dubois Naval Architects. Their superyachts are known for their performance and superior engineering, as well as for their sleek exteriors, and we worked hard to incorporate these ideals in the Superhouse.

Whilst yacht and house design are worlds apart in many ways, they share an eye for detail and the need to balance the luxury of the space, with the practical constraints of meeting a brief and constructing a living environment. It was also important for us to recreate the beauty and sleekness of the yachts in the house and its styling. The use of sliding screens that disappear into the floors and walls, is something that we took directly from flush decks and opening transoms of super yachts. These provide differing environments as needed - sleek and closed-down for a minimalist appearance, or opened-up to reveal functionality, storage and flexibility.

Whilst we have strived to achieve the same high standard of a superyacht’s aesthetic qualities, we have also considered the experience of using and living within these spaces. The spaces are designed so that they can be used intuitively, and so that they celebrate their location. The experience of being on board a superyacht is created by the fact that the tiniest of details has been considered; that the clients’ needs are met before they are aware of them; that solutions have been found to make using the spaces at once efficient as well as comfortable; and above all that the finishes are of an exceptional quality.

From the framing of views and the way that the spaces flow from one to another, to the use of superior materials and precise detailing, Superhouse feels both luxurious and familiar. We have worked hard with our client to ensure that the house is a delight to inhabit, and beautiful to look at.

These are a few of the yachts that we love:

Mariquita Yacht

Mariquita dates back to some of the grandest days of yachting. She is is one of the most historic and interesting of the Fife designs, a 19 Metre, 125ft LOA and launched in 1911.

We love the low freeboard and gently rising sheer line with large ovehangs at the bow and transom. This makes her beautiful in the water with a sleek appearance.

Ahimsa (Previously Aglaia)

This is our favourite yacht to come out of Dubois Naval Architects. Ahimsa is a 65m sloop (single mast) built in aluminium with an 83m carbon mast. As one of the largest sloops at the time of build, she was built with a combination of innovation and advanced technical craftmanship. We love the low supersructure and clean deck.

She carries the world’s largest artwork on canvas designed by artist Magnus Furuholmen, who is also one of the members of the 80s pop band Aha.


Malcolm McKeon Yachts are responsible for the beautiful Missy. Missy is a 33m sloop and is a light weight carbon fibre hull, designed and built a stone’s throw from our studio in Lymington.

Comfort and sailing characteristics are high on the agenda. We love the use of the curved structural glass which is evidence of cross-industry collaboration with structural engineers, that perhaps are more used to buildings.

Almost Nothing

Almost Nothing is a B60, a production boat designed by Luca Brenta and is a high performance sloop with a large cockpit and great comfort on deck, blended with a carbon construction to guarantee high rigidity and sailing performance. She’s the ultimate day-racing yacht, built for recreational purposes but with the highest levels of manoeuvrability.

We love this boat as she is so minimalist in both her exterior and interior. The interiors were designed by the famous British minimalist John Pawson.

Skerry Cruisers

Skerry cruisers have a special place in my heart. They originated in Sweden more than 100 years ago, and they were historically most popular in the Baltic Sea, and sailed in the archipelagos. Skerry cruisers are slender boats, and due to the limited sea state could get away with with low freeboards. They used tall rigs to catch the breeze between the islands. This gives them unusual proportions that accentuate their slenderness and beauty.

Riva Acquarama

The Riva Aquarama is a luxury wooden day-cruiser built by Italian yachtbuilder Riva. The boat's speed, beauty, and craftsmanship earned it praise as the Ferrari of the boat world. You can ensure that a Riva will turn heads, wherever it is moored. We love the curved line and luxury feel that made it the darling of the 1960s jet set.


VanDutch is a relatively new production brand specialising in luxury motorboats. Their first of the VanDutch 40 started to making waves in destinations such as St. Tropez and Cannes. F1 racing and the Red Bull team hosted the boat at the Monaco Grand Prix, as the model presented excellent opportunities to entertain at sea. VanDutch now have a range from 40 to 75 ft yachts. It’s a modern equivalent of a Riva Yacht.

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