That the world’s largest residential superyacht is being currently constructed is not a secret, and now, neither are the names associated with this multi-million dollar build.
The entire project is being handled by Ocean Residences Development, a firm whose vision for the 293-metre vessel – aptly named M/Y NJORD, after the Norse god of the wind and seas – includes 117 luxury residences, a marina and dive centre, as well as an oceanographic research laboratory and a gyroscopic telescope housed in the top deck observatory. Throughout NJORD’s annual circumnavigation of the globe, scientists will research the changing environment and record sea conditions, while scanners will map the ocean floor. All this information will be processed and made available to further humankind’s understanding of the planet’s oceanic secrets. Meanwhile, the most advanced engineering systems will be deployed, designed to maximise fuel efficiency and reduce environmental impact.
NJORD’s design is the realisation of a talented team of naval architects, engineers and designers led by Jean-Louis Stutzmann, the chief designer and a noted interior designer with an extensive career in ocean liner, superyacht and luxury residential design. Working alongside him is Espen Øino International, the world’s leading superyacht design company. As the primary naval architect for NJORD, Øino is responsible for the overall exterior design of the superyacht. Onboard, every detail will be meticulously designed to enhance the residents’ experience and each residence will, as one would expect, be elegantly appointed, with feature floor-to-ceiling picture windows and sea views from every bedroom and living area. Additionally, owners are offered exceptional fully custom designs to maximise privacy and comfort.
Aside from Stuzmann and Øino’s in-house design teams, the first big name announced in connection with NJORD is Francesca Muzio of Italian design studio, FM Architettura. No stranger to the yachting world – FM Architettura was born from her extensive work on no less than 112 of the most prestigious superyachts – Muzio will be working closely with Espen Øino. Together, their vision will reveal residences of the most outstanding specifications, detail and finish.
“Our clients are buying a home for life onboard M/Y NJORD, and the centre of our inspiration is always the individual person, their emotional relationship to their home, and their lifestyle,” Muzio says, explaining that “these are homes which must have a sense of place. Each of our original designs is the result of a unique creative process that begins with exploring the client’s personality, integrating their ideas and discovering their specific passions.”
“I like to consider these four elements in my designs: earth, air, fire and water,” she reveals. “Earth to me is the use of wood in our designs, be it in the bespoke furniture, flooring or structural partitions, and the air is the lightness around the interiors created by using handmade carpets and bespoke woven textiles which lead the eye around the space. The fire comes into the accents with bespoke bronze furniture, or glass, or the lighting which we use to punctuate the rooms. And lastly: water. The all-important element, to ensure the flow and balance of the design comes together in its entirety.”
Muzio is, however, just one of two leading designers named in connection to the project – the second is the legendary lifestyle architect, Jean-Michel Gathy of DENNISTON. His appointment re-affirms Ocean Residences Development’s desire to create a new language of luxury onboard for their discerning residents, and he will be working closely alongside both Espen Øino and Jean-Louis Stutzmann, Ocean Residences Development’s Chief Design Architect.
Born in Belgium, Gathy has spent much of his adult life based in Asia. After founding his architecture and design studio, DENNISTON, in 1983, he has gone on to become the go-to name for the creation of innovative and forward-thinking designs for leading luxury hotels around the world. This is the result of the blending of his European education, upbringing and his lifestyle.
“I have travelled my whole life and it has actually been my school of learning,” says Gathy who, due to various work commitments, is generally away from home for up to 200 days of the year. “People often ask me what triggers my creativity? I believe whilst travelling, you actually unconsciously amalgamate a library of visual information, emotion and experiences.”
Gathy’s signature style and designs will span across Decks 10 – 13 and alongside several of the top residences and penthouses onboard NJORD. The designs will be at once homely, comfortable, and casual, yet also very contemporary. Every owner will be able to choose their own identity for their residence. For the larger residences, Gathy has included the option of a walk-in wine cellar, humidor, private gym, sauna, steam room or any other facility you might fancy. “Everything is in the details,” he reveals, “and ultimately I want to create a shelter, a safe haven, where those who choose to live onboard M/Y NJORD can close their eyes and let the day work them, instead of them working the day. The difference is subtle but fundamental.”
Quite apart from the attention to detail in every design element, the appeal of owning a residence onboard NJORD is that each day will bring a new adventure. As Gathy succinctly summarises: “Who in the world has a home that one day faces East at sunset, and the day after faces West at sunset? No one!”