Adam Lay Studio Diaries: Salperton IV 1/3

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Insight into the creative processes and collaborations behind the interior design of the award-winning 45m/147’ aluminium sailing yacht Salperton IV; Part 1 of 3.

SIV Reef

Salperton IV sailing. Photo: Tim McKenna

We had previously designed the 44m Fitzroy Yachts built Salperton III which was launched in 2007. The design brief for Salperton IV was to add 1 metre to the LOA – half a metre in the upper saloon and half a metre in the aft guest accommodation – and to be a further development in style towards an interior with a more modern aesthetic using clean-lines and Italian inspired design. As is common in sailing yacht builds, the shipyard would handle the interior build in-house.

One of our first steps was to visit the International Salone di Mobile in Milano where our client Barry Houghton loves to seek inspiration. American black walnut had already been decided as the timber of choice for the built-in joinery and we were looking for inspiration for the fixed upholstery (sofas and bedheads) and also for coffee and dining tables.

Back in the studio we had drawn the walnut furniture with linear elements featuring expression grooves and the design was starting to be 3D modelled by the shipyard. A custom latch to fit within the expression grooves in the walnut cabinetry was already in development with our help to source a suitable off-the-shelf latch that would take a custom bronze sliding finger pull manufactured by the shipyard to our design.

SIV Cupboard Knobs

Flush latches within the expression groove. Photo: Jeff Brown

We had also been gathering samples of bulkhead fabric and happened across a fabulous hemp wall covering made by Architectural Textiles. It was the smart but textural material we had been looking for and after some rigorous testing by the owner’s representative in New Zealand, it was approved. The detail of the expression grooves in the wall panelling proved to be somewhat challenging to implement however! Nonetheless it was deemed achievable and would eventually give the interior its unique relationship with light and shadow.

SIV Passageway

Guest Passageway hemp wall covering. Photo: Jeff Brown

The crew area was to follow the same style as the owner and guest areas but for practicality purposes we opted for a paint finish in place of the hemp wall covering.

The limed oak flooring was a request from the owner, having seen it used in his daughter’s new-build home in the UK. More rigorous testing ensued to ensure its suitability for the necessary Classification Society fire regulations and also to ensure its suitability and longevity for use in the marine environment. It proved to be another defining feature of the interior, even in the bathrooms where we feared it would be susceptible to water ingress as the finish was waxed, not varnished. Materials that look great for the first season and then deteriorate are not acceptable and it is important to us that all materials are thoroughly checked before the specification is complete. I saw the boat in May 2015 and the floors still look as good as they did when they were installed 6 years earlier.

SIV Upper Saloon

Upper saloon with waxed Oak flooring. Photo: Jeff Brown

For the deckheads we worked closely with Majilite in the U.S. to develop a custom coloured faux leather to compliment the hemp wallpaper. These finishes gave us the canvas within which we could develop the more personalised elements of the design.

In part 2:  I’ll be discussing some of the loose furniture items, stone selection process and porthole treatments.

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