Stepping inside a superyacht in 2021 is an extraordinary and often breathtaking experience. It is hard to overstate the level of complexity and attention to detail that goes into crafting the interiors of a modern superyacht: a topic about which many in the industry (myself included) are woefully ignorant.
To solve this, SYT caught up with Christian Bolinger, Managing Director at the family-owned Austrian interior outfitting company, List GC, to discuss current and future trends in yacht interiors, sustainability and the industry’s response as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.Photo: List GCHow have yacht interiors changed over the course of your career?
Over the years, the level of complexity has grown considerably. This is partly due to the larger amount of equipment which needs to be integrated into today’s interiors and partly due to the wide-ranging design requirements which are increasing with every new build vessel and resulting in ever-more sophisticated products. Photo: Francisco Martinez What has been the impact of COVID-19 on yacht interiors?
Owners want their place of retreat to be safe, both for themselves and their crew. Ways of minimising infection potential have been part of many design agendas since the outbreak. On our side, we focused on door and handle solutions and general surface applications, while our AC partners investigated ventilation.Photo: List GCHow has the heightened interest in sustainability affected your work?
It is great to see that owners, as well as the entire industry, are striving to reduce the ecological footprint of new-builds and major refits. However, I am missing this development on the interior side of the industry, where interior outfitters are still guided by boundaries that hinder a comprehensive application of sustainable solutions and processes. Photo: List GCI am waiting for the challenge of building an interior that is truly driven and defined by sustainable guidelines. This would require a different mindset and perception of quality, as you would need to accept certain imperfections from nature, resulting in a lower waste of base products such as leather, stone, veneers, and the like.
What are your predictions for future trends in yacht interiors?
I think diversity is here to stay. Owners’ personal preferences are often the base ingredients for their yacht designs and so the future will show vessels and interiors of all kinds. The application of innovative structural solutions and alternative materials (e.g. glass) might also play a role. This would allow us to merge exterior surroundings with interiors, bringing nature and the sea closer together in the interiors of future yachts.Photo: List GCThis article was originally published in the Autumn 2021 issue of The SuperYacht Times newspaper. To receive all future issues straight to your door, subscribe to the newspaper here.