What distinguishes the magnificent yachts of Tim Heywood. John Bannenberg or Donald Starkey?

Record value, huge size, or maybe the prestige of the owners? No, these yachts have become legends because they are made by legendary craftsmen, without a single extra detail or inaccurate touch.

John Bannenberg

What separates an artisan from a creator? The craftsman always follows the rules. The Creator uses the rules if he needs them, and when they interfere, he destroys them and creates his own. So was the legendary architect John Bannenberg, one of the most famous megayacht builders in the world. Each of his creations is unique and unrepeatable. The main merit of Bannenberg in yacht building is the violation of stereotypes. It is thanks to him that unique luxury yachts are created today, completely different from each other. However, the very life of John Bannenberg served as proof of his main postulate: destroy stereotypes.

Let's start with the fact that this unique person from Australia did not even have a higher architectural education, but he was able to become an architectural reformer. Good yacht designers have always existed, but with the advent of Bannenberg, the concept of good architecture has changed. If earlier one yacht was distinguished from another only by the size of the deck and the decoration of the cabins, now the vessels have become truly unique, the most obvious example of this is Rising Sun.

40 years ago, John Bannenberg founded his own studio Jon Bannenberg Ltd, where he brought up a whole generation of talented and ambitious architects such as Terence Disdale, Don Starkey, Tim Heywood and others. John Bannenberg and his studio were not only designing yachts from the beginning, but it was the projects of the floating wonders of the world that brought his studio success. They designed not only the 138m Rising Sun, but also the 96m Limitless, the 85m Kingdom 5KR, the 72m Coral Island, and The One (only a meter shorter). In total, more than two hundred yacht projects came out of John Bannenberg's studio. His style is non-standard and well-planned premises, original hulls, by which a yacht can be recognized from afar, without even reading the name, and functionality.

The great architect died in London in 2002. The studio is now run by his son, Dickie. At the moment, the studio is engaged in designing the interiors of yachts.

Klaus Kush

Klaus Kusch is unique in the megayacht building industry. This is a lone architect who does not enter into contracts with shipyards, but selects the construction site and hires builders himself. His star designs are Tatoosh and Le Grand Bleu for Paul Alain, Simpson S for Peter Lewis, Leander G for an English peer. And not once did the customers doubt his experience and intuition. Klaus Kusch left this world in the winter of 2004, when he was only 60 years old, and his company Claus Kusch Yachtagentur continues to build luxury yachts. Today it is one of the most reputable shipbuilding enterprises. Now in its docks is the 20-meter vessel MAY, which was designed by Tim Heywood.

Tim Heywood

Are you familiar with such yachts as Ice or Pelorus? They were designed by Tim Heywood, a student of John Bannenberg. He specializes in the appearance of the yacht. His style is high functionality combined with classic lines. For example, while working on the Kogo, Tim Heywood designed an elegant hull that can withstand a round-the-world cruise. The Kogo has a high bow, vertical windows on the bridge and a large outer fender. 

Tim Haywood is considered to be one of the strongest yacht exterior designers. To get an idea of his work, just look at such megayachts as the 97-meter Carinthia VII, designed for Heidi Horten, one of the largest and fastest charter yachts Perfect Persuasion with a length of 45 meters, the famous Pelorus 114-meter length, launched at least the famed Lurssen factory for Roman Abramovich, and the 90-meter-long Air, a gleaming 300-foot-long vessel that Tim Heywood worked on with equally renowned architect Terence Disdale. Just now, at the shipyards of Claus Kusch Yachtagentur, a new yacht MAY is being built according to his project, which is about to go on the water.

Terence Disdale

Another star student of John Bannenberg. While Tim Heywood designs frames, Terence Disdale specializes in interiors. Disdale's first major commission was for the interior of Mary Quont (an icon in the fashion world, the woman who invented the miniskirt). Now Disdale owns his own company, which he founded with Donald Starkey, and specializes in yacht interiors. Name any luxury megayacht, its interior is probably done by Terence.

He designed Paul Allen's Octopus, Roman Abramovich's Ecstasea and Pelorus. How to recognize the master's handwriting? On natural leather, suede, wood and stone in the most exotic combinations. The calling card of its interiors is that the boat should be pleasant to the touch. Terence prefers soft colors and perfect finishes, however, if you want to entrust the interior of the yacht to Disdale, get ready for the fact that for each square meter of decoration you will have to pay from 10 to 15 thousand dollars, and this will not be golden hot tubs, not diamond swans at the stern. However, in the interior from Terence Disdale, every little thing will be in its place.

Donald Starkey

This man became a yacht designer quite by accident, in the John Bannenberg studio he didn’t even come close to yachts, his specialty was residential buildings. But in the 70s, he became friends with designer Terence Disdale, and one day they decided to work together under the Terence Disdale Design label. A hallmark of Donald Starkey is a superbly designed space. For example, not yet being an architect of yachts, Donald saw that they needed to be improved. If the windows of the yacht are too high to see the ocean surface, if the guest cabins are between the engine room and the diesel engine, if the yacht’s personnel are forced to pass through the owner’s apartment to clean the guests’ cabins, this is a design mistake. 

The merit of Donald Starkey is that, being a specialist in residential buildings, he made yachts comfortable, and the interior of the yacht logical. His most famous works are the 52m Rio Rita, the 60m Blue Moon and Mylin IV, and the 73m Queen M built by Lurssen.


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