Tillberg Design of Sweden pulls back curtain on design of SilverCat

Tillberg Design of Sweden pulls back curtain on design of SilverCat 22M semi-custom power catamaran

As with all big things, it’s only when you see the level of detail at the smallest scales that you appreciate the design knowledge and experience that has been poured in. For Tillberg Design of Sweden (TDoS) – one of the world’s foremost designers of cruise ship and passenger vessel interiors, and now a part of the Viken Group – the opportunity to work on an exciting 22-metre yacht concept by one of the world’s leading superyacht builders, with exterior design from one of the world’s leading yacht studios, was an opportunity to show that depth of design experience in all its glorious micro-detail.

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The shipyard was SilverYachts – famous for delivering some of the world’s most unique large superyachts, such as Silverfast and the instantly iconic 85-metre Bold – and the exterior designer was Espen Øino. The project - A 22-metre luxury power catamaran that, one could argue, was as far from a cruise ship in terms of scale as you could get.

But with considerable experience not only in the giants of the seas but also a wealth of superyacht projects, the TDoS Yacht team, under the expert stewardship of Daniel Nerhagen – Partner and Yacht Director at the studio – has created a stunning interior and open deck concept that combines the aesthetic beauty of natural materials with a non-standard shout of colour and brilliance.

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“The exterior design and the basic elements of the vessel were already complete when we were brought on board, but we had complete freedom when it came to the layout of the interior and open deck spaces and the design and style,” Daniel Nerhagen begins. “The brief was for a lot of loose furniture so the yacht could be changed according to an owner’s taste, but overall the brief was to create something different. And although it seems small compared to our cruise ship work, actually the spaces are very similar to what we do everyday, like a large suite. Also, being a catamaran with a 10.8-metre beam, its interior volume is equivalent to that of a 35 to 45 m monohull with a volume of 180 gross tonnes. This level of space to work with is unique.”

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Material wealth
A key element of the interior design concept is the focus on natural materials as not just the canvas to which other things are added but as the capstone which shows those materials front and centre of the design. It’s a Scandinavian design influence in which the TDoS team is completely fluent, and it’s an approach that combines elegant functional practicality with aesthetic beauty and attention to details.

“One thing we like is calmness, and calmness comes usually through the materials we choose,” Nerhagen enthuses. “We like very natural colours – we chose oak for the wood in this design – and we try not to make it too dramatic, because it’s all about subtle detailing. Some call it simplistic, but it’s absolutely not – it’s about letting the materials breathe and stand out on their own, and it’s about fine detailing but not adding layers and layers on top. Those layers don’t add anything, they just hide the beauty of the materials and the beautiful crafting that goes into those materials.”

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On the SilverCat 22M, this glorious combination of contemporary cool and Scandinavian chic is punctuated by bold pops of colour in details and soft furnishing elements, using orange, blue and white to add life and luxury to the interior and exterior spaces. “Our brief was for something a little bit outside the box,” Nerhagen explains, “and when we talk outside the box, that means not putting beige on beige – a lot of yachts play very safe by just being white and beige with a little bit of wood for accent, but SilverYachts wanted to spice it up a bit. So we went for some really strong and vibrant colours to stand out from the crowd and to offer something a little bit different.”

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Colour me happy
The design team’s experience – which covers everything from small superyachts like the SilverCat to the interiors of some of the world’s largest and most prestigious cruise ships – also comes to bear with the specific colour selection. As Nerhagen points out, this comes down to the fact that in areas where these yachts will operate, such as the Caribbean or Mediterranean, the light is considerably stronger and colours need to be much bolder. “Everything is much more intense in those places,” he says. “The greens are much more green, the blue water is much more blue, flowers are much more pink. So that was also a driver – but it’s also set against that neutral background, so if an owner doesn’t like strong colours or wants different pops of colour it’s very easy to adapt the style by changing the loose items, the pieces of furniture, the artworks and so on.”

There’s more to TDoS Yacht’s design than just choosing a style and a palette, however – their work encompassed a bigger-picture look at the interior and open deck spaces, how those interact, and what elements of Espen Øino’s exterior styling they could reflect in the interior elements.

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“We’ve used some of Øino’s shapes from the exterior in interior elements,” Nerhagen points out. “You can see that in the shapes of the dining table, and in things like the armrests of the chairs. We really tried in a subtle way to play with the shapes from the exterior, and then worked to make the transitions seamless. We did the exterior furniture and elements like the deckheads, then brought those colours and materials into the saloon as well. We really wanted to have this boat as a true indoor-outdoor experience,” he continues, “because you can open up so much on the yacht. It’s not about saying ‘here is the inside’ and ‘here is the outside’, it’s about having completely fluid – and fluent – design language throughout.”

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Building relationships
With the first SilverCat 22M already in build in SilverYachts’ Asian facility, the TDoS team were able to bring their cruise ship experience to bear in other facets of the project as well, highlighting how the SilverCat concept has been a fully-fledged and fruitful collaboration.

“We worked with a lot of durable materials because we have a lot of knowledge in that area, but we also assisted the shipyard in finding a good local turnkey contractor who we already knew and could vouch for,” Nerhagen says. “They could source things locally, which makes a big difference.”

It was also a fantastic project for the TDoS Yacht team to collaborate on a live yacht project. After initial project discussions late in 2021, the project began in earnest for the TDoS Yacht team in January 2022, with the bulk of the initial design work running over four months with contributions from five of the TDoS Yacht designers, who have continued to engage with the SilverCat 22M through the refining and evolving of the design concepts.

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“We’re super proud of the SilverCat 22M project, and we think it’s super sexy,” adds Antonio Romano, Commercial Director of the Viken Group. “It’s also really a showcase of the diversity of the company and the talents that lie within our team.”

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