At the tail end of last year, Dutch yacht builders Feadship released details of their latest superyacht design, the 65-metre superyacht Freedom. Her exterior design, which has been widely lauded for its flowing lines and hanging decks, has been penned by Jan Schaffers. Here SuperYacht Times gets an exclusive insight into the interior design, chatting with FM Architettura co-founder Francesca Muzio.The interior of the superyacht Freedom immediately stands out from the crowd. With a focus on organic shapes, green spaces with trees and plants, the interior gives a sense of calm to the point that you can almost smell fresh mountain air. Aside from the decorative design, Freedom’s interior architecture has been designed as a dynamic space, with interconnected areas that can be transformed for other uses – a concept almost totally unique to the superyacht industry.Photo: FeadshipHow did you come to be involved in Project Freedom?
At FM we are always thinking about what is going to be trending in the future. We have developed concepts for both hotels and residences that integrate nature and flexible spaces with a particular attention to comfort and privacy. We brought this concept into Freedom.After developing and building the latest 55m Feadship, Somnium, it became quite natural to develop together a new concept with the aim to fulfil needs that will definitely be more prevalent in the near future as a lasting effect of the pandemic. Bas Nederpelt, Director of Feadship, and I were on the same page and the name Freedom seemed the best fit to this concept. It all started from this name. If you think about it, being aboard your yacht is the ultimate escapism, and so Freedom was the perfect way to describe this work.Photo: FeadshipThe yacht has transformable spaces, what does this mean and why have you designed it like this?
We started from the name and then we developed a new layout that we call ‘Pixelated’, where spaces are transformable rather than square and linear. We wanted four cabins that could open-up and become two ‘giga-suites’ when fewer guests are onboard. It is a more fluid design, where spaces are connected in a very innovative way for a yacht.Photo: FeadshipThe interior renders show a lot of greenery, what was the inspiration behind this?
In order to provide the best experience onboard a yacht, we always wonder what one would miss during navigation. A yacht can navigate 77% of the Earth’s surface, the Oceans, but in long journeys you might end up missing the remaining 23% of earth, soil and greenery. So we thought of bringing nature into the yacht. The idea came from the owner of another Feadship, who asked me to design a hydroponic culture on his yacht, where he could grow vegetables. Inspired by that, we placed a garden in the middle of the two large suites. Imagine, you are in the middle of the Atlantic, and you look outside and see your favourite tree by the window, in this case a romantic olive tree that brings a unique Mediterranean touch. This would create a sense of peace, a sense of belonging.What was it like collaborating with Jan Schaffers in this design process?
It was wonderful working with Jan, as he was a true companion in this adventure. We immediately connected when we met and it is lovely to have such a talented and enthusiastic person as a partner. When I approached him with the idea of adding the garden, as well as the other unique elements such as the hydraulic platform that folds out from the hull, he was very supportive and accepted the challenge. Jan followed all our inspirations to create a Feadship that is meant to be timeless, starting from a flair bow when most yachts now have sheer bows: Freedom is both a modern and a classic.Photo: FeadshipWhere have you taken inspiration from in the design process?
Asia is close to my heart and truly my second home. I have designed interiors for the Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts group for many years and I am very inspired by the sense of harmony in the Asian interior design. I try to always incorporate it in all my designs, growing from the concept of Zen. I am tremendously inspired by the fluid designs of the Japanese traditional house, where paper walls can be moved to change a room’s use. The sliding partitions in Freedom’s Garden Suite originated from this concept.Finally, what are your favourite elements of the design?
Of course, the VIP suites with their central garden and olive tree outside and the yoga platform, where guests can do their sun salutations and feel truly connected with the ocean. I think these are few of the most impressive features of this superyacht.Francesca Muzio’s team at FM Architettura have worked on an array of truly standout interior design projects in the superyacht industry, such as the 88.38-metre Zen, built by Feadship, and the 2014 49.8-metre Como. Also currently in the pipeline is the 283-metre residential ship Njord, recently discussed in a feature article on our website.