When it comes to crossing creative boundaries, world-renowned British naval architect Martin Francis is a mercurial master. His creative CV lists bespoke furniture, inflatable structures for the Tour de France, sculptures and computer-assisted art, as well as elegant villas in the South of France. In addition, his stellar design flair has helped put the ‘super’ into superyacht, taking these titans of the ocean to new frontiers of power and magnificence.
Renowned for his naval architectural projects, including the now-classic superyacht ‘A’, created in collaboration with the venerable Philippe Starck, and his partnership with Mercedes that saw the development of their first yacht, Martin Francis is also famous for his fascination with glass engineering. Indeed, his iconic projects such as the Science Museum and the Louvre Pyramid in Paris epitomize his visionary approach ss innovation.
Among his recent design triumphs is the eminently practical yet aesthetically stunning Surface Collection, debuted in 2014 in collaboration with Swarovski. The range of shimmering crystalline surfaces has proved to be the ultimate in sleek solutions for high-end interiors. Using these super-luxe aesthetic treatments, it is now possible to subtly incorporate crystal into interior surfaces such as wood, suede, lacquer, leather, and even MDF. The hard-edged brilliance of the crystals works to accentuate the properties of the other materials, creating functional yet ‘virtual’ surfaces that appear to be constantly in motion.
Recently, he has introduced a new range of glass surfaces to Surface Collection that were launched at the end of February from industry creatives and interior specialists at the Superyacht Design Symposium in Kitzbühel, Austria. This time he has merged crystals with layers of various types of glass—satin, clear, mirrored, and black—creating new combinations, including see-through effects. The result is enhanced reflective capability and depth, giving sophisticated refinement to a variety of interior surfaces and expanding the creative possibilities for the world of luxury design.