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Studio Faggioni - Yacht Design
Studio Faggioni

Studio Faggioni

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Title: Studio Faggioni
Magazine: Yacht Design
Issue: 3
Year: 2008
Attachment (pdf/doc): Yacht Design-Articolo-20120903-221744.pdf
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His soul is in the past, his feet grounded in the present and his eyes look towards the future. It's obvious the moment you meet Stefano Faggioni, and the proof comes when you step into his studio in La Spezia - it's overflowing with designs, drawings, woods, parts and sepia or black and white photos.
At the moment of writing, the studio is about to move to larger premises so the yacht designer and his collaborators can organise their work more efficiently.
It's a job the Ligurian architect has in his blood, as he follows in the footsteps of his father, Ugo Faggioni, one of Italy's most complete and creative designers, as Stefano emphasises. "My father had this incredible talent for design. He could go from brigantines to warships to large pleasure yachts with ease. I think he gained less recognition than he deserved because of the times he lived in and his attitude to life." Ugo Faggioni, who passed on in 2000, handed down his passion for boats to his son, especially wooden craft and period vessels, and this genetic inheritance inspired Stefano to study architecture in Florence, specialising in restoration.
Family reasons and personal preference led him to concentrate on the restoration of large wooden yachts, which he regards as the essence of ships and sailing. "Wooden craft are the real ships. I make no bones about being intrigued by modern megayachts, but they aren't my aesthetic ideal. I find the attempt to create new shapes at any cost a sterile exercise, it's just trying to dazzle people with marina chic," he says. He did, though, derive satisfaction from his collaboration with the Cantiere Navale di Pesaro on the design for the ocean-going navetta Naumachos. This exploration vessel combines contemporary appearance with the traditional seafaring spirit, designed, above all, for long voyages.
Restoration, though, is still where Faggioni's heart lies. To him it offers the pleasure of going back in time, the satisfaction of returning an object created by expert minds and hands to its original purpose and the demand for detailed knowledge of the design and respect for intentions of the original builders.
"Because the simple, elegant shapes never go out of fashion and never risk becoming kitsch." One of the projects the studio has handled and which brought international recognition is the gaff-rigged cutter Lulworth. This job lasted more than five years, involving countless hours at the design desk and the yard. One current project is the restoration of La Spina, the first 12-metre SI built in Italy in 1929, which will be of considerable importance. Of course, a restoration like this also needs an owner who shares the passion and awareness and is prepared to give the designer total trust. "Not just for financial reasons ? the work is difficult, the parts have to be specially made, the materials are expensive and the job involves highly-specialised skills. But it's also because a project like this demands hours of work and endless patience." At the moment the studio is concentrating on two main areas ? restoration and interior design for more modern yachts.
According to Faggioni, both aspects are inspired by the same spirit, because he makes every effort to avoid jumping on the latest bandwagon, preferring to follow a more long-term philosophy by creating a balanced architectural composition that embodies a nautical logic and simplicity. He avoids the potential risk of repeating older styles by using ultramodern solutions and innovative fabrics and leathers, often in unusual combinations. Not forgetting the care lavished by craftsmen.
"Although I've also worked abroad, I still want to wave the Made in Italy flag, which has always meant excellence. That's why my collaboration with Carlo Alliata produces such outstanding results in the search for even higher levels of skills."
Faggioni does not conceal his almost obsessive attention to detail, often designing items personally to create the lamp,
handle or hinge that's right for the boat in question. He talks about materials in loving tones, describing the aromas and feel of woods and the differences between one kind and another.
These aromas can be imagined from the beautiful designs produced by the Studio Faggioni. As well as using CAD, they haven't lost their love for the brush and owners often ask to keep their watercolours to display as paintings. Current projects include a refit for 32-metre motorsailer, furnishings for an 80-metre and 54-metre motoryacht and an original design for a seagoing limousine, a special taxi for a few privileged clients in the city of Venice.
Asking Stefano Faggioni who is or was the greatest nautical designer prompts this answer. "I've always been inspired by Herreschoff and Fife, but my father is my role model, a multitalented man who never lost his poetic spirit." And the most beautiful boat? His ideal is still Shamrock III, but he says so with a hint of sadness "because she no longer exists and it won't be possible to restore her."

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