The 164-foot superyacht Aurora from Italian shipyard Rossinavi won this year’s Yacht of the Year award in Rob report’s Best of the Best for 2018. The vessel’s bold exterior lines can be credited to well-known naval design architect Fulvio de Simoni, whose studio ItalProjects is based in Milan. And the sough-after residential interior designer Achille Salvagni crafted the winning superyacht’s interior—not just the decor, but he designed the furniture, the shape of the bulkheads, and even the lighting. Robb Report sat down with Salvagni for his perspective of the project.
What was the first step with Aurora’s interior?
The first challenge, given the exterior’s strong character, was to define the mood we wanted. My solution was to soften the interior with curves and a sense of youth connected to the 28-year-old owner. If I’d used the same muscular design as the exterior, which was complete when I came on, we would’ve created a monster. The yacht, with its internal slopes, was more like designing the interior of a racecar.
How did you make it all work?
I turned negatives into positives. In the master cabin were two ugly stainless-steel beams with lots of pipes near the forward window. There was no way to hide them, so I turned them into wings and covered [them] with white leather. It was one of the suite’s highlights.
You also designed a number of the furnishings.
For the piece of art the owner was most proud of, I created a foyer at the end of a hallway to showcase it. I designed the rest of the furniture, lamps, and even the dining-room table with his personality in mind. I’m different from most designers because I shape interiors, rather than decorate them. I first define the volumes and patterns of each room, and choose the materials of the shapes, all the way down to details like door handles.