Adam Lay Studio Diaries: Salperton III 1/2

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

Insight into the creative processes and collaborations behind the interior design of the double award-winning 44m/144’ aluminium sailing yacht Salperton III (now Artemis); Part 1 of 2.

Ed Dubois introduced me to the owner of Salperton in 2004. He had previously built the 53m/174ft Alloy Yachts built ketch Salperton II and was going through a process of appointing a designer for his new build at Fitzroy Yachts in New Zealand. I had worked together with Ed Dubois during my time with John Munford on the 54.3m/178ft Alloy Yachts new-build Tiara. I was asked to join the owner and his wife in London for the day and subsequently submitted a design proposal for the interior during a later trip to Palma, Mallorca. Having started our studio in 2003, Salperton III was our first new-build project.

Early mood/fabric board 2005. Adam Lay Studio

Early mood/fabric board 2005. Adam Lay Studio

Starting with the GA, we reviewed the Dubois plans and refined the layout together with the owner, tweaking bulkheads as little as 50mm before Fitzroy Yachts built a full-size mock-up of the interior in time for our first yard visit. I remember arriving at the shipyard after 37 hours in the air (via Dubai and Melbourne) and going straight into a lengthy design meeting. The mock-up had to be optimised and modified before the owner and I returned to Europe the following day.


Owner’s cabin mock-up September 2005. Photo: Adam Lay

With the layout confirmed and the interior style in development, the design brief called for a more modern version of Salperton II which was classically influenced. My Munford training was extremely useful in coming-up with a classically inspired but modern joinery style; a combination of oak and walnut with a wenge inlay line. The tall curvaceous joinery nosing was inspired by a terracotta plant pot I had at home. It provided a natural fiddle rail whilst satisfying the need for soft edges. Wide planked oak flooring and fabric wall panels above an oak wainscot with walnut dado rail completed the built-in joinery.


Joinery nosing detail. Photo: Winfried Heinze

For practical reasons and for brightness, the crew area followed a simplified joinery style in oak minus the walnut but keeping the contrasting wenge inlay line detail to maintain a relationship with the owner/guest areas.

The design language continued into the bar, coffee tables and dining table but in order to create a feature, we commissioned a special bronze finish by Metal Composite in France to compliment the bronze Turnstyle Designs door and cabinet hardware. This was combined with a bronze coloured slumped glass from a company called E.scape Glass based in Invercargill in the South Island of New Zealand.


Saloon coffee table. Photo: Winfried Heinze

Turnstyle Designs supplied the door and cabinet hardware and we started our long-standing relationship with them by asking them, together with the shipyard, to turn a standard leather bathroom robe hook into a cabinet latch by incorporating a push button – an item which now appears as standard in the Turnstyle Designs range.


Turnstyle Designs handles. Photo: Winfried Heinze

In part 2; I’ll be discussing some of the technical challenges we had to overcome and some of the more decorative items that we used in the design of Salperton III.

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