The Dutch masters knew how to manipulate light in their paintings, all the way from Johannes Vermeer’s stunning Girl with a Pearl Earring to Jan Steen’s tranquil, domestic settings to Rembrandt van Rijn’s brilliant self-portraits.
Modern masters like Vripack are also keenly aware of having the right light within the interiors of the yachts the studio designs. The use of natural light playing off homespun furniture and rough-hewn wood floors has a pivotal role in the success in the interior of Project M5, a 124-foot expedition yacht designed for a South American family. The beach-house motif extends beyond the typical cliché, minus the usual conch shells on tables and distressed faux wood walls. Instead, Vripack created the genuine environment, from the exclusive use of natural textiles like silk, wool, and stones to the repurposed oak from warehouses in New York.
“It immediately provides the yacht with personality which you can’t get by using a new material,” says Marnix Hoekstra, creative director at Vripack. “Our interiors are all about light, dark, and the playful balance in between. So we combined the light sofas, designed by Piet Boon, with a concrete-and-matte-black-steel central staircase.” That was just the start. Vripack designers spent hours in its sample library, working out which wood, stones, and textiles would combine to make this an exceptional custom interior.
“These natural materials created an understated and original mood,” says Hoekstra, noting that Vripack’s virtual-reality tool provided a 3-D view of the interior. The computer-modeling tool also gave Vripack more control of the interior proportions of the saloon, master suite, and guest staterooms, and the ability to work out the relationships between these areas and common areas like stairs, service routes for staff, and even door placement. “We made sure that they fit together coherently and align with the owner’s needs and lifestyle,” adds Hoekstra. “This tool also gives the family a clear sense of what their future seagoing home will look and feel like.”
As outdoor lovers, kite-surfing is a passion that both parents and children share. A typical morning could include a yoga workout in the gym, followed by an alfresco breakfast on the rear deck, and then kite-surfing from the stern. Features like a lounge hanging from a ceiling rope in the dining room (with its rough-hewn table and simple chairs), fabric-laden recliner near a side window, and simple-but-elegant saloon decor make this Vripack design one of the most relaxing interiors on the water. The company has yet to release images of the exterior, but presumably it will be very much in sync with the rustic beach-house interior.