The greening of the superyacht industry once seemed as elusive as the legendary green flash at sunset. Not so anymore. When building a superyacht today, eco-conscious decisions are gaining momentum. We have witnessed the rise in alternative propulsion systems for a while, but now we are seeing eco-design and eco-construction assessments with interior appointments.
Here are the ways that three designers—Tiphaine Treins, a French lighting designer whose Temeloy Lighting studio is based in London; Mark Berryman, a British architect and designer who is the principal of Lymington-based Mark Berryman Design; and Laura Pomponi, an Italian designer who is the principal of Luxury Projects based in Ancona, Italy—are embracing and, in some cases, helping to lead these trends.
Tiphaine Treins founded Temeloy Lighting in 2009. Her work includes residences, luxury boutiques, museums, parks, exhibitions and superyachts. During the past five years, she also co-founded Lighting for Good, along with the LVMH Group and its lighting suppliers, to develop lighting eco-innovation. One goal of Lighting for Good “is to apply circular design by remanufacturing and reusing existing lighting installations,” she says. “We are committed to creating zero-waste lighting schemes by applying eco-lighting innovation, research and intelligence to designing with light.”
For original lighting design work, Treins prefers to work with clients from the onset of a project through completion, to ensure minimum environmental impact. As an example, when she was called in to assess and reinvent an elaborate, but flawed chandelier aboard the 280-foot (85.6-meter) Derecktor Aquila (formerly Cakewalk), she could be creative as well as eco-conscious.
The work of art—the focal point of the yacht’s lobby—has a waterfall effect that is 36 feet (11 meters) tall. It cascades down four levels, from the sundeck to the lower deck, and includes 38 polished stainless-steel rods. Each rod has an average of 40 handmade crystal glass components, which means 1,520 pieces of crystal. Sets of bearing plates are at the base and top, with plastic filler to hold the rods and absorb vibration underway. An average of 11 struts with absorption strips hold the 38 rods together, meaning there are a total of 51 components on every rod.
“First, we researched the best way to light the crystals to create the most mesmerizing effect,” Treins says. “Because the stairs were integrated around the chandelier, we knew that we had to find a solution that would give a consistent lighting effect at any point of view—from the top and the bottom of the stairs or from the corridor or landing area.”
The safest way to ensure the desired lighting effect was to integrate light inside the crystals. But there were no plans or drawings.
“It took us three days of intensive work to measure the position of all the components on every rod,” she says. “Once the information was processed, we reproduced the chandelier in 3D. This step was essential to be able to discuss with the client the final design of the chandelier and the best design strategy.”
Next, the lighting solution had to be accessible for maintenance. Double-sided printed circuit boards integrated into the long crystal needed to be easily removable. Temeloy could rebuild the chandelier or try to keep as many pieces as possible. The benefits of rebuilding included creating an integral custom solution pre-assembly and installation at the workshop; the drawbacks included environmental impact. In the end, Temeloy reused as many components as possible.
Temeloy is now in the process of launching its Smart Life Cycle Calculator to scientifically assess the impact of any lighting scheme and fitting. Temeloy’s intention is to integrate eco-efficiency into all manner of lighting design.
For more information: temeloy.com
Mark Berryman has an innate and overt design style that is natural and green.
“I am not only inspired by nature, but I also like to use natural materials such as reeds, rattan, stones and shells from the beach,” Berryman says. “I have a very tactile approach to interior spaces, and I like to imagine our clients and their guests wanting to walk over to a wall and touch it.”
He also has a love for all things Asian. He feels inspired by Japanese Zen gardens and is in sync with the simplicity of a shoji-screened room with tatami floor covering. His design aesthetic also leans toward the clean lines of modern Danish design. His favorite furniture designer is Hans Wegner, in part because of the natural woods he uses.
“In truth, if any client really wants to embrace an eco-conscious lifestyle, I’d have to say, ‘Well, then don’t build a superyacht,’” he says with a laugh, adding that he supports the industry’s momentum toward “greener pastures.” Given the opportunity to use sustainable products such as bamboo and readily available woods such as oak, he will lead clients in those directions.
He will also bring up the pure practicality of eco-consciousness. For instance, if a client wants a silk carpet, he may explain how a carpet that is 60 percent wool and 40 percent bamboo has the same soft feel of silk, but is much less expensive, and easier to maintain and repair.
Berryman uses the Swiss company Nature Squared, which has its sales headquarters in London, as a source for materials, furniture and wall coverings. The company has myriad innovative products utilizing eggshells, seeds, bark, feathers, tobacco, vines, reeds and the like.
“Nature Squared is an invaluable resource,” Berryman says, “and I am gratified to see that several other design sources are also on the green path.”
Berryman has his younger brother Jim to thank for introducing him to the superyacht design world. The Berryman brothers spent their formative years in Devon, U.K., and both are architects. Twenty-six years ago, Jim was working for yacht designer Donald Starkey and encouraged Mark to apply for a vacancy. Mark learned yacht design on the job. A couple years later, he went to work with H2 Yacht Design. After 10 years there, in 2007, he started his own studio, which has a team of 12.
Some superyacht designers exhibit showman-type swagger when discussing their approach to design, but Berryman is not one of them. His low-key persona matches his serene designs, which include the 446-foot (136-meter) Lürssen Flying Fox, the 197-foot (60-meter) Lürssen Arkley (now named Caipirinha) and the 203-foot (61.7-meter) ISA Mary-Jean II.
“I had a period where I had a lot of Russian clients,” he says, acknowledging the recent government actions against Russian yacht owners. “But oddly enough, even before the current geopolitical situation, I started attracting more American clients, and I must say, so far, they have been very good to work with.”
He has a current client requesting that the yacht be as green as possible. And he couldn’t be happier about it.
For more information: markberrymandesign.com
Laura Pomponi began working in shipbuilding in 2002. She holds a Ph.D. in electronic engineering and has a pragmatic side that complements her knack for art and design. She has a penchant for researching novel materials and finding innovative applications, and has joined the Water Revolution Foundation, whose mission is “to preserve the world’s precious oceans and neutralize the footprint of the superyacht industry.”
Pomponi established her own studio in 2008. Her company motto is “design for your life.” As interior designer of the recently delivered 230-foot (70-meter) Benetti Alfa, she worked closely with the owners to define every design detail.
According to Pomponi, some clients lead the charge for greener yachts, and some need leading. In the case of Alfa, it was a bit of both, as the owner was keen to have a holistic approach to the design.
“The client wanted a warm and calm interior that was at the same time light and modern,” Pomponi says. “We stuck to natural colors and materials, and purposely excluded shiny or glittery stuff. Most of Alfa’s interior appointments, from material to art to furniture, were sourced within 40 miles of Ancona to reduce embodied energy for travel.”
At the onset, the client brief specified a round stairwell clad in natural stone or marble. Not to exceed the monetary budget and keep within weight and size limitations, Luxury Projects suggested flexible stone veneer. It creates a wall made out of natural stone with a polymer composite back.
Pomponi explains it this way: “Using a stone quarry that has a very soft, sandy stone, one puts a special type of glue on the surface of the quarry wall and peels it back so that the stone dust adheres to the sticky substance and gives the appearance of being stone, but it is merely a façade.”
It is a real stone product that bends and folds. It can be cut with scissors, applied with a nontoxic adhesive and trimmed with ordinary woodworking tools. Its flexibility allows it to be installed on curved surfaces and round columns.
Another product Pomponi uses is engineered wood, which is sustainable and easy to maintain. Her source is the Italian company Alpi, which sources poplar, lime or ayous woods from certified and sustainable forests that are managed with respect for biodiversity. The company guarantees direct supervision of the entire supply chain with product traceability. The wood is stripped and recomposed in an infinite range of types, finishes and patterns.
“This engineered wood is free of the flaws typical of traditional wood, and can always provide uniform and constant colors and sizes,” Pomponi says. “If you use this wood in an outside flower box, it will rarely change color from the sunlight, as it has been prepared to withstand 6,000 hours of UV rays.”
The owner of Alfa did not know about these eco-friendly materials at the onset of the build, Pomponi says, but was thrilled with the aesthetics of the result.
For more information: luxury-projects.com
This article was originally published in the Fall 2022 issue.