Cristiano Gatto: Artistic craftsmanship, from idea to creation

An artist first, yacht designer second, Cristiano Gatto, founder of the eponymous studio, is a craftsman within his work. Currently working on more than 13 superyacht projects, the team at his studio had a busy year in 2023 and have entered into 2024 in a state of “synchronised, creative chaos.” Based part of the year in Dubai, and the rest at his studio in Venice, Cristiano and his team are a well oiled machine. We sat down with him to get a deeper understanding of his unique perspective to yacht, residential and material design, and to hear more about some of the varied projects currently underway. Cristiano Gatto, Founder CGD DesignSpeaking with his clients about their reason for working with the studio, Cristiano’s clients respond that the approach is more artistic than what they have found with other designers. By this, they mean that Cristiano’s way of thinking is different. Interacting with his clients in an empathetic way, has allowed him to understand the root of what they are looking for when it comes to custom design, and using his creative, experimental approach. Here we look at some unique examples that encapsulate the mentality and ethos of the studio.Cristiano Gatto Design interior conceptCreating extraordinary spaces

An example of Cristiano’s analytical and experimental approach to design is a residential project currently underway in Miami. A spacious and glamorous penthouse, Cristiano’s favourite room is the children’s bedroom, which features an entirely bespoke design, tailored specifically to the use of children. Studying the way a child might move from the raised beds to the floor, over the furniture and along the walls, the team created an entirely ergonomic environment that aligns perfectly with the way a child might interact with their environment. Experimenting with materials, the design team has chosen fabrics and finishes that are more durable than elsewhere in the house, and can easily be cleaned in case they are drawn or painted on. Like the materials and furniture, Cristiano has designed a special lighting set-up, with gentle and discrete lights for the night that will help the children sleep in case they experience a fear of the dark.Cristiano Gatto Design residential project“When I was designing that room, I remembered my own childhood, the things that children enjoy and the world’s they create within their spaces. We wanted to create an environment that encouraged the children to play and express themselves, while being safe and protected.”

With a cleverly integrated, ergonomic design, the purpose of the furniture transforms, with the night stand becoming the steps for the bed, and a net strung above the beds where they can read before going to sleep. Like all of Cristiano’s designs, this design for this simple children’s bedroom began with the questions, ‘who lives within the space’, ‘how will they interact with it’ and ‘how can I make their experience of that space extraordinary’. 

Beyond bespoke

One of the studio’s current projects, the 57-metre Heesen superyacht Project Setteesettanta is another example of how Cristiano’s ability to understand and interpret the owner’s wishes, leads to a highly customised result. In addition to creating the interior design, Cristiano is the owner’s representative for the build, working closely alongside the shipyard team and the exterior design team at Omega under Frank Laupman. Cristiano Gatto Design sketch While in a relatively early stage of design, the project is due for delivery in 2026, the interiors are already an exemplar of the studio’s work. With an entirely unique design, not one piece of furniture, lighting arrangement or material used, can be found on the market, and all are being developed specifically for this vessel.

“One small example of the level of detail onboard this vessel is that the floors will feature an engraving of a Japanese cup, that I own and was drinking from while in a meeting with the clients. They loved the shape of the cup, and this led to a series of sketches, engravings and eventually a final design – a small touch but one that demonstrates how far we will go to bring to reality the client's imagination.”Rocket yacht refit interior designMaintaining promises 

The ultimate goal of the studio is to meet the needs of the client through a cultural lens, and to create a work of art – be that a yacht interior or exterior, residential home, or single piece of furniture. Refitting is a focus of the studio and by bringing interiors back to life, the studio understands the value of adding new technology and design while keeping things practical. Working with many of his clients for decades, through various yacht and residential projects, Cristiano builds lasting relationships with his clients, and in doing so is often given the opportunity to revisit projects through refit. I Nova yacht main saloon In 2013, the Cosmo Explorer yacht I Nova was launched to a complete design by Cristiano, and the yacht has remained in the same ownership since delivery. A forward-thinking and innovative vessel when launched, she featured a first-to-the-market linear light solution on all decks. As the technology has developed over the decade since her launch, the availability of the original lights has diminished and so Cristiano returned to the yacht to create a new, long lasting solution. I Nova yacht in Hydra, GreecePhoto: Rowan Simpson

“We returned to the producer and engineering team of the original solution, with the new LED technology and redeveloped it so that it could be seamlessly integrated into the original concept. The result is that we have maintained the promises made to our client, and for us it doesn't matter how much time has passed. We will continue to be the artisan designer that understands how to develop a design with both the passage of time, and the change of lifestyle.”Cristiano Gatto Design sculpture designsCristiano Gatto, and his team at CGD Design, believe firmly that craftsmanship creates cultural value within the product itself. In this approach, the work they create is unique, rich in tradition and aesthetically beautiful, and is designed to fulfil the unique needs and wishes of their clients. 

Cristiano Gatto Design

To find out more about Cristiano Gatto Design, and to learn more about how they can help you with your next project, reach out to the team now;

[email protected]

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