Though the superyacht business is a relatively small industry, it is packed with international professionals from all walks of life, and it can certainly be easy to get lost in the sea of faces we're presented with at boat shows, yachting events and beyond. In this series of articles, we take a step back from rushed business meetings and hurried networking and sit down with professionals from across the wide spectrum of the superyacht business to learn more about who they are and what they do for the industry. In this week’s episode, we get to know Jonny Horsfield, the founder and owner of the London-based studio, H2 Yacht Design.
Tell us about yourself and H2 Yacht Design.
I established the studio back in 1994. My own background is in automotive design and, if there is anything particularly characteristic of my work, it is my instinct for elegant and beautiful flowing lines as a result of my early training. I’ve built up a team of multi-disciplined designers and assistants which include exterior stylists, interior architects, 3D visualisers and FF&E designers. We work in an informal and relaxed environment which fosters creativity and collaboration.
As a widely recognised yacht design brand with a reputation for innovation and stylistic flair, we take a no-nonsense and technically competent approach to commissions. Plus, with more than 20 years’ experience behind us, we are constantly evolving and researching new ideas and products, which results in some of the most spectacular yacht and residential interiors and exteriors in the world today.
One of your most recent exterior projects was the 56-metre Project Neptune, which is your first collaboration with Heesen. Tell us how the partnership came about, and how is the experience going?
Yes, this is our first collaboration with Heesen, and we are obviously excited about working with them on a custom exterior. The client selected Heesen to be the yard that they wanted, however, they were always insistent that they wanted a custom design rather than an existing Heesen product. As a result, we had to carefully work on their existing platform to produce something unique whilst sticking to certain hard points within the platform.
What was the brief from the owner?
The owner wanted a very clean and sleek design, and we quickly identified the perfect design direction, using long, soft flowing lines and clean graphic detailing, as you can see from the images.
What are some of the standout features onboard Project Neptune?
The most important detail is the one you can't really see in the images! Our challenge was to place two good sized tenders on the forward deck, which needed to be inside their own garage in order to be out of sight. This was hard to achieve whilst maintaining the sleek lines and hopefully, we have achieved this without people realising the tenders are there!
The design of the wing control balconies was also an important detail for us. They are quite large and very shapely so we made sure that they do not interrupt the lines of the yacht. To really highlight their elegant shape, we have also painted them with a silver metallic paint.
To end on a more general note, can you tell us anything you've got on your drawing boards right now?
At the moment, we are currently busy with the interior design of the 182-metre REV explorer project that is currently under construction in Norway and has exterior design from Espen Oeino, so watch this space!