Jon Bannenberg

  • Jon Bannenberg
  • Jon Bannenberg
  • Jon Bannenberg
  • Jon Bannenberg
  • Jon Bannenberg
  • Jon Bannenberg

Jon Bannenberg is universally considered the founder of modern yacht design with an unparalleled reputation stretching over some forty years.

Born in Australia in 1929, he studied music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and was an extremely accomplished jazz pianist. He left Australia in the late 1950s and arrived in England where he made his home.

Starting out in partnership with a Mayfair antiques dealer, Bannenberg set up his own design studio in the mid-1960s, working initially on houses, and developed a reputation as a rising star amongst the creative figures sparking Britain’s swinging 60s.

When asked by a client for his opinion on some designs for his newly commissioned yacht, Bannenberg didn’t hesitate to tell him where it was going wrong, and from that point he became the dominant figure in yacht design, both interior and exterior, until his premature death in 2002.

During those four decades, he was responsible for dozens of the most famous yachts still sailing, many of which caused initial consternation, but which are now regarded as iconic; modern classics even. The list is long but highlights include several yachts for Heron Marine, including successive MY GAILs, Carinthia VI, Nabila, the uncompromisingly severe Paraiso, Azteca and Highlander, all his designs for Oceanfast and his final creation of Rising Sun. Throughout his career, he continued to design in almost every field including stage design, car interiors, jewellery and a large number of hotels. He was created a Royal Designer for Industry in 1978.

Bannenberg’s studio continues, as Bannenberg & Rowell Design, under the direction of his son Dickie, and Simon Rowell.