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Talking Yacht Design: 40 Years of Studio Spadolini

Tommaso Spadolini on 40 Years of Design
Tommaso Spadolini on 40 Years of Design

The term ‘timeless classic’ is used flippantly in the world of yacht design. However, with 40 successful years at the forefront of the industry, Tommaso Spadolini is one yacht designer who has earned his title. With a flair characterised by a mixture of tradition and modernity, we spoke with the man himself about ‘classic yacht design’ on the 40th anniversary of his company; Design Studio Spadolini.

From 00’s Sanlorenzo silhouettes, to the unmistakable 70m Rossinavi, Numpita, Tommaso Spadolini’s designs are all doused in with a strong blend of experience and a style that can only be described as classical.

Born in a converted cathedral space outside of Florence, the studio’s designs echo with familiarity of evolution within the industry. The education in elegance they present; simply charming.

‘Classic Yacht Design’, is to me, a design that is characterized by essential, functional lines that generate sober and comfortable elegance, firmly anchored in nautical culture,” Tommaso begins, noting that this form of design may be practical, but must contain an element of inspiration. Whether designers seek motivation from art, music, or literature, in this case, Studio Spadolini chooses the ocean.

But how does a designer so familiar with the old create something new? In an industry constantly evolving and seeking the most futuristic of inventions, Tommaso reveals the secret to staying at the forefront of a market that always wants more.

He explains, “Classic yacht design is timeless. Classic does not mean that you have to avoid advanced technology, quite the contrary; it means you should use technology to maximize comfort, inserting it in a linear and elegant design that doesn’t need futuristic inventions to be modern and incisive.”

Yet despite such commitments to innovation and technology, whether aesthetically discrete or contemporary, we learnt how important it is to incorporate a personal flair into every component… “I manage to incorporate history, traditionalism and functionality into my designs in a mix that clearly expresses my design thinking, which is closely tied to my background, and always with maximum respect for the sea and its culture,” expounds Tommaso, while describing the influencer closest to his heart. An element that quite literally powers yachting… of course, it’s our oceans.   

However, in driving design - whether it is elegant, futuristic or Design Studio Spadolini’s fusion of both – there is one factor that’s out of the hands of even the most learned professionals. We asked Tommaso the solution to pleasing clientele from across the globe; especially with their varying stances on the word, classic.

“I appeal to different markets with pure and essential design,” he replies, “– this way the language of design becomes universal, timeless and able to satisfy every need.”

And so it’s certain that with the studio’s 40 years of education, ocean-inspiration, and attitude toward creating timeless classics that are anything but tiresome, the Italian design firm will continue its legacy alongside some of the most well-known shipyards in the world.

What does the future hold for ‘traditional’ yacht design? Tommaso lends, I am sure that classic design, in its purest expression, will always be valid and current - as long as it evolves in step with the times.”

I am sure that classic design, in its purest expression, will always be valid and current - as long as it evolves in step with the times.
Tommaso Spadolini