How Guillaume Rolland Designs Yacht Interiors That Embrace His Sailing Passion
As an avid sailor and a celebrated designer in the boating world, Guillaume Rolland has led the yachting division of French design and furnishings brand Liaigre since 2001. Rolland’s ardour for boating started from his first sailing experience when he was just 10 years old; his deep knowledge on the subject made him a natural fit for the brand, whose founder Christian Liaigre was just as enthusiastic about sailing.
Maintaining the delicate balance between style and efficiency, the yacht interior projects by Liaigre convey the discreet elegance of the brand while personalising each boat to suit the needs and tastes of the owners. Here, Rolland shares more about his newest projects and the changing needs of the next generation of yacht owners.
What makes your latest project unique?
Guillaume Rolland (GR) A project is special because it is the owner’s brief that initiates the story; it comes from the personality of the person who will use the yacht and not from the designer. For instance, the owner’s brief for our recent project was to create a “beach-house boat”; we used only teak wood combined with white surfaces to get a very light and calm mood throughout the boat.
What are the requests and needs of your clients today?
GR The new generation of owners is more driven by experiencing a real boating adventure and sharing it with friends and family. The previous generation was more focused on the demonstration of power and wealth.
A captain friend of mine told me that one day, an owner asked him to drop the anchor close to a smaller boat, just to be the bigger (boat) compared to them. I think this kind of behaviour tends to change with the millennial generation, who are more driven about issues such as eco-consciousness and sustainability.
What is your starting point for each project?
GR We always start from the customer’s brief and needs, the location of the project and what is the idea behind it. I do believe that the rules are universal: architecture, lines, balance, composition, flow, geometry and light are the drivers of a good project. All these elements are part of a big equation to provide the best result. I see no difference in designing a 20sqm flat and a 100m motor yacht.
Is there a type of yacht you have yet to design, but would like to?
GR I would love to design a river boat for cruising along beautiful rivers. I love the movie Death on the Nile (the 1978 movie based on the Agatha Christie novel), and the charm of the boat is magic.
(Related: Home Tour: A Super Yacht-Inspired Vacation Villa)
Choose one yacht and one destination—where would you like to go and why?
GR I would love to sail to the Isles of Scilly (an archipelago in Southwest England), one of the smallest slice of paradise on Earth. I prefer to use my personal yacht because it fits me better. Yachts are really personal and tailor-made and I prefer to spend my limited free time onboard my own boat. It is actually difficult for me to imagine cruising on other boats. The problem with these big yachts is that you can’t go very close to the shore and deep into the coves because of their size and deep draft; you are a little bit detached from nature.
Tell us more about your ongoing projects.
GR We have two beautiful yachts in the works: a nice 60m sailing yacht made in Holland with Royal Huisman and a 44m motor yacht with Sanlorenzo made in La Spezia, Italy. They will be launched soon in a superyacht show.
(Related: Architect Patricia Urquiola Designs A Sanlorenzo Yacht Made For The Nomadic Life)