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We have chosen renowned London interior designer Michael Kirschstein to meet the formidable challenge of achieving the fully customized spaces we seek for our boats.

Kirschstein's approach is one that we have long admired. He believes one of his major functions to is try and ensure the client enjoys and understands the process of designing and building his/her yacht. Interiors reflect the individuality of the client and each owner has their own particular desires. This is even more of a major point for us, as we are building a fleet of 24, not just a single boat and each will be designed and built strictly in line with our spacious and gracious "residence" at sea concept.

Yachts are very personal and we needed someone of Kirschstein's stature and experience to design our elegant and luxurious interiors in the Global Yachts style, one where the "residential" character will be maintained whilst maximising the yachts' promise for intimate entertaining as well as larger business or social functions for our corporate clients.

When British Airways introduced beds in 1st class, the team worked with a design company more familiar with designing yacht interiors than airline seating. They redefined the skills they were looking for from 'designing aircraft interiors' to 'designing quality/luxury space in a confined environment'... as a result they got a great solution. Similarly, we will get from Michael Kirschstein splendid classical interiors with restraint, sophistication and charm.

He also listens......

He is on record as saying ''Designers have to have big ears because our greatest talent in this work is the ability to listen'. His ability to listen and thus understand the lifestyle of our clients, and their dreams, their money and their family, so he can work on our ideas, is a prime skill of Michael Kirschstein.

'Finding out what clients want and developing that into a set of drawings is an exciting adventure", as he puts it.

Not only has Kirschstein built his own sailing boat - the 17 ton, 14.6 metre 'Coldfeet' - but he has a unique understanding of the interior construction of luxury yachts, gained when he headed a team of 290 Italian carpenters onboard the 350' Bark 'Sea Cloud", built as a luxury wedding present in the 1930's.

Refitting it in Venice when he was chief carpenter taught him how an old vessel was put together. This has given him a unique and major advantage compared with his contemporaries.

Long years of experience have shown him that the whole process of designing and building a yacht should be a team effort with a major emphasis on good communications, to achieve client satisfaction and enjoyment as well as value in terms of money and finish. He stresses the importance of a good flow of information between the parties, the designer, the yard and the owner.

Kirschstein describes the satisfaction of getting everyone to work together smoothly to achieve the end result as an 'incredible high' whilst pointing out that, conversely, changing layouts during construction, although possible, proves much more costly than doing the same during the design process.

Similarly, he explains, small areas of joinery can be made using the actual materials to ensure the correct feel is going to be created.

A prerequisite of designing yacht interiors is a solid understanding of space. Ideally the boat should be 'built' on paper before starting construction. While Kirschstein uses simple pencil sketches, artist's renderings and full CAD models to let the owner see what the interior will look like, he is a great believer in mock-ups. The best way to really get a feel for the end result, he says, is to build a full-scale mock up and walk through.

These are not questions of aesthetics - which have more to do with finish -its more a question of 'can I see out of that window', or 'can I walk through that space'. The practicalities and ergonomics of the space have to come first - if you get that right the aesthetics follow easily.

Andrea, the exploration style vessel built by Delta Marine in Seattle was one such project where mock-ups were made for some of the major areas. The first North American built composite megayacht to achieve Lloyd's Register classification, Andrea is a 126-foot expedition hull distinguished with brilliant design touches, classic European styling and outstanding use of space.

Besides working on Perfect Harmony 102' and a new 137' footer for the German Yard Kaiserweft, Kirschstein is also designing the interior of an exploration vessel for Inace, his seventh project for the Brazilian yard, as well as the complete refit of Khalidia 144' in Portugal. Combined with his time aboard Sea Cloud he has a level of hands on experience that is rare among interior designers.
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