Liaigre’s Guillaume Rolland on Luxury Yachts and Setting Sail Around the Globe
If there is one thing Guillaume Rolland boasts an intense fervour for, it is yachts. In 2002, he joined Liaigre, the high-end furnishings and design brand that redefined bespoke interior design with boats such as Abeking & Rasmussen’s explorer yacht Cloudbreak and Philippe Briand’s sailing yacht Vertigo.
Contributing significantly to the sleek signature style that Liaigre is renowned for, Rolland helms the brand’s maritime design projects with his seasoned eye and extensive first-hand knowledge of sailing. Pre-pandemic, the French designer frequently voyaged on adventures around the globe. The experienced sailor discusses his most unforgettable travel jaunts and recent yachting design projects.
Liaigre creates a seamless balance between efficiency and elegance when it comes to designing yachts. How has your personal passion for sailing helped shape your approach towards this design ideal?
Guillaume Rolland (GR) Ever since I was a child, I’ve been familiar with living in tiny spaces inside a small yacht. It’s really a natural fight to search for each square centimetre available to fit everything you might need; appreciating how to compromise is really helpful to making critical choices. Efficiency, in general, is the key driving factor when designing yachts, and it has to be applied for both interior and architecture.
Can you tell us more about your recent yachting projects?
GR We’re delivering a 44-metre motor yacht built by Sanlorenzo for a Singaporean owner. Another 35-metre motor yacht for an Italian owner that’s still at Sanlorenzo will be ready this summer. We’re also working on an incredible 60-metre sailing yacht built at the Royal Huisman shipyard, as well as an 18-metre motor chase boat at Windy Boats, with the yacht design from Malcolm McKeon.
What are some of the most memorable destinations from your travels?
GR I have a fantastic memory from a cruise around Sicily. [My family and I] were almost alone, with very few other yachts around. We had dinner of spaghetti onboard a fishing boat with the crew. I remember also sailing in front of the Selinunte Greek temple, then going via tender ashore to visit the archeological site. It’s a really intense moment when you mix sport travel with cultural and historical discoveries.
Where would you like to travel to next, once pandemic restrictions are lifted?
GR My long-time dream is to cruise around the Isles of Scilly. It’s a group of small islands located at the west of Cornwall in England, and is probably one of the most magical places in the world.
What are the biggest joys of yachting as compared to other modes of travel?
GR The pleasure lies in being autonomous, to rely only on yourself and the absolute freedom of your choices. If you like a bay, you can stay there for three days. There are no rules at all; you follow your own programme every evening by looking at the weather forecast, the tides and currents, as well as possible shelter destinations where you will be able to stop. It’s an adventure all day long.