Dickie Bannenberg Discusses Artisan Design in London

By Ben Roberts

After catching up with Dickie Bannenberg, one of the lead designers in the venerable Bannenberg & Rowell studio and sponsor of the Superyachts.com Top 100, at the Linley Riviera launch last night, we gain an insight into the company's new projects and get his opinion on the importance of new design talent in relation to the evolution of design.

How do you believe being based in London helps you as a designer in relation to designers across the globe?

"London is a hub for yacht designers to a degree but I think it’s important not to fall into the “London is the centre of the universe” mentality when it comes to a client making a choice. It’s first and foremost design driven (I hope) and there are plenty of talented designers around the globe."

You recently unveiled a 60m design concept with Lürssen Yachts, what can you tell us about the idea behind her?

"Lürssen asked us to develop a 60m with less volume compared to their recently-delivered 60m projects. It has a waterline length of 60m but is actually 67m overall. We took the opportunity to explore strong surface shaping and architecture, two alternative Owner’s Suite locations (on the Bridge Deck and Main Deck) and a spectacular Beach Club housed within the transom where the transom door pivots up to act as a giant, sculptural canopy."

What new projects do you have on the drawing board at the moment?

"We’ve got a good mix: another 47m collaboration with Heesen making the fifth project we have down with them over the past few years; two refits of 50 – 60m (a Feadship and an Abeking respectively) decorating the interior of the latest Feadship Vantage 45, and some further exterior design work for Lürssen and Benetti."

What advice would you give to budding new talent wanting to enter the world of superyacht design?

"Talent, perseverance and some luck. And I estimate that only 5% of the e mails I get looking for an opening try a personal and considered approach, rather than scream that I am one of 100 people on a mailing list, and addressed to Dear Sir / Madam. When someone does something different, it’s a clue that there’s something more to them."

As interior designers as well as exterior, what are your thoughts on Linley's new Riviera range?

"The pieces I have seen I really like. Last night at the Linley event I had a good look at the drinks table and thought it was smart and well-executed. In fact, I’ve been a fan of something a bit more informal (relatively speaking!) as opposed to the bars which can turn into a serious heavy number, when all you want to do is pour yourself a drink and heap some ice in the glass."

By Ben Roberts