Thursday, 1st May 2014
At Andrew Winch Design, numbers speak volumes: over the company’s 27 year history, 56 super yachts have been delivered and 30 prestigious awards have been won. A close-knit collective of over 50 designers and experts – with one exceptional creative at the helm – this British studio is simply in a league of it’s own.
CYCLOS III, PHOENIX2, AL MIRQAB… each of these renowned yachts is utterly characteristic of its owner, and each of these bear the anonymous signature of Andrew Winch Design. Chris Cecil-Wright and Andrew Winch first collaborated professionally in 2004 on the Feadship GU for a particularly discerning first-time yacht owner. Such was its success that the owner commissioned them to conceive his next yacht, MADAME GU – the largest yacht ever built in the Netherlands, a 2014 ShowBoats Design Award double winner and (at time of writing) a 2014 World Superyachts Award finalist. ‘Believing in the impossible’ is how Andrew describes the challenge of creating this ‘majestic thoroughbred’. Everything was custom built, from the helicopter to the glassware and linen, with a focus and finesse typical of Andrew Winch: ‘Every corner was considered three dimensionally’ says the designer, who instructed a full-scale mock-up of the party deck at Pinewood Studios for the client’s perusal.
BUILDING THE DREAM
With all the expertise required to take a yacht, private aircraft or residence from sketch to fruition, the studio is fully capable of breathing life into their client’s aspirations. Andrew tells of how owners find it hard to be parted from their completed yacht or aircraft, adding ‘You know you’ve done a good job when they feel completely at home’. Fundamental to Andrew’s continued success is what he considers a vital trinity of trust, respect and an understanding of the client’s lifestyle. The frequent accolades – the 62m Feadship SEA OWL was also a 2014 ShowBoats Design Award winner for it’s tender – are a happy consequence of the studio’s creative collaboration with the client.
ON SOLID GROUND
Encouraged by their clients, in 2007 Andrew Winch Design broadened to include residential architecture and interiors. The owner of MADAME GU, for example, commissioned property design in both the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean, while current projects at AWD include a private chateau in France and an Alpine ski chalet. In this capacity, Andrew has turned his attention to the new Cecil-Wright London office in St James’s:
‘It’s a very simple, cultured, bohemian space – classic yet contemporary with eclectic art,’ says Andrew of the apartment to which clients are invited, ‘Chris is living the life of his work, so it’s a home to work from – and a private environment to put clients at ease’.
Andrew Winch’s personal surroundings are as aesthetically diverse as his studio’s portfolio: a ‘monastically relaxed’ farmhouse in Surrey built in 1580, a casual ski chalet in the Alps, a London pied-a-terre with minimalist Japanese fl air and a ‘modern marine’ office in Barnes. The designer finds his creativity inspired by water: ‘I can see the waves of the River Thames from my office desk. I do love the water and would like a yacht of my own. The ambition of tomorrow is to spend more time afloat – after all, you don’t just buy a yacht, you buy a lifestyle’.