Pen­cil Po­wer

Top Yacht Design - - Contents - By An­drea Gia­no­la Pho­to by Gio­van­ni Mal­ga­ri­ni

“Iha­ven’t been wi­thout a pen­cil in my poc­ket sin­ce I was a boy”. The son of an ad­ver­ti­sing gra­phics de­si­gner who took him to ex­hi­bi­tions of all sha­pes and si­zes, Fran­ce­sco Pasz­ko­w­ski, who was born in Mi­lan but is Flo­ren­ti­ne by adop­tion, drew any­thing to grab­bed his at­ten­tion from a ve­ry ear­ly age.

«It might ha­ve been a car I saw th­rou­gh a train win­dow when I was tra­vel­ling to an ex­hi­bi­tion wi­th my fa­ther or the hel­met of a mo­tor­cy­cli­st wai­ting at traf­fic lights whi­le I was cros­sing the road. I drew any­thing that at­trac­ted my at­ten­tion whe­re­ver I was.” So even now, all Pasz­ko­w­ski’s new de­si­gns start wi­th a sket­ch. «Free­hand dra­wing is vi­tal to me. The mark ma­de by a pen­cil on a blank sheet of pa­per is a uni­ver­sal lan­gua­ge un­der­stood by all, a way of tur­ning an idea in­to a si­gn. You can do it any­whe­re, any­ti­me,” he says.

Pasz­ko­w­ski de­ci­ded to be­co­me a de­si­gner after vi­si­ting an ex­hi­bi­tion of Gior­get­to Giu­gia­ro’s work in Mi­lan.“I ju­st said to my­self the­re and then that I wan­ted to be a de­si­gner when I grew up,” con­ti­nues Pasz­ko­w­ski. Li­ke ma­ny ya­cht de­si­gners, Pasz­ko­w­ski star­ted out wan­ting to de­si­gn cars but fa­te in­ter­ve­ned. After a short spell in Pier­lui­gi and Tom­ma­so Spa­do­li­ni’s stu­dio, Fran­ce­sco Pasz­ko­w­ski struck out on his own in Florence in 1990.

Hun­dreds of de­si­gns fol­lo­wed, span­ning the spec­trum from cu­stom to production ya­ch­ts, pla­ning and di­spla­ce-

ment, in­te­riors and ex­te­riors. Ho­we­ver, Pasz­ko­w­ski’s fir­st en­coun­ter wi­th the ya­cht world ac­tual­ly ca­me about qui­te by chan­ce. “In 1991, I met Mi­chael Bre­man who was then the di­rec­tor of Ba­gliet­to. He sho­wed my port­fo­lio to an Au­strian client. When he saw the de­si­gns, he said I could try doing one for him but that I would real­ly ha­ve to knock his socks off. I ma­na­ged to do ju­st that and the re­sult was Opus I, whi­ch, at 29 me­tres, was then the lar­ge­st open on the mar­ket at the ti­me.” A few years la­ter the sa­me ow­ner re­tur­ned for a fly he wan­ted Hee­sen to build and that part­ner­ship pro­du­ced Opus II.

Pasz­ko­w­ski con­ti­nues to work wi­th bo­th Ba­gliet­to and Hee­sen but has ad­ded ma­ny mo­re yards to his client li­st, in­clu­ding San­lo­ren­zo, CRN, Cu­stom Li­ne, Be­net­ti, Tur­quoi­se Ya­ch­ts, Isa Ya­ch­ts, Ca­na­dos and Tan­koa. Al­thou­gh Pasz­ko­w­ski’s ap­proa­ch chan­ges so­mewhat de­pen­ding on whe­ther the boat is production or cu­stom, he is equal­ly en­thu­sia­stic about the two ty­pes of craft. «Being able to work in bo­th en­vi­ron­men­ts is one of the ad­van­ta­ges of this great job be­cau­se they are dif­fe­rent and so you ne­ver get bo­red,” ex­plains Pasz­ko­w­ski. “Cu­stom work in­vol­ves de­ve­lo­ping a ve­ry deep un­der­stan­ding wi­th the ow­ner be­cau­se you ha­ve to trans­la­te a person’s ve­ry spe­ci­fic de­si­re in­to a uni­que pro­ject that in so­me way evo­kes the pre­ciou­sness and ex­clu­si­vi­ty of a hand­ma­de ob­ject yet wi­thin the ow­ner’s bud­get. When you are crea­ting a de­si­gn for a se­ries, you ha­ve to

keep in mind the fact that you need to meet the ta­stes and needs of dif­fe­rent po­ten­tial ow­ners and for a lon­ger ti­me span. In this par­ti­cu­lar in­stan­ce, de­si­gners ha­ve to an­ti­ci­pa­te trends and be able to look well ahead in ti­me to get a hand­le on how ta­stes will evol­ve, whi­le the eco­no­mic con­strain­ts are dic­ta­ted by the pro­duct stra­te­gy and the in­vest­ment ma­de by the com­mis­sio­ning yard,” ex­plains Pasz­ko­w­ski, ad­ding: “In bo­th production and cu­stom pro­jec­ts, you need a kno­w­led­ge of the yard’s skills, strong team­work wi­th its tech­ni­cal of­fi­ce and all the other sta­ke­hol­ders, plus the aware­ness that boa­ts are born for the sea re­gard­less of the ae­sthe­tic va­lue they may ac­qui­re. You al­so ha­ve to ta­ke in­to ac­count es­sen­tial fac­tors su­ch as de­di­ca­ted ma­te­rials, the use of sa­fe­ty-fo­cu­sed tech­no­lo­gies, struc­tu­ral and func­tio­nal con­strain­ts, and con­sump­tion to crea­te a ba­lan­ced com­bi­na­tion,” he con­clu­des wi­thout let­ting slip whe­ther he is making a jab at the gro­wing num­bers of de­si­gners co­ming in­to the sec­tor from ou­tsi­de the nau­ti­cal sphe­re.

By his own ad­mis­sion, ho­we­ver, Fran­ce­sco Pasz­ko­w­ski feels that the pre­sen­ce of so ma­ny ve­ry dif­fe­rent players on the ya­cht de­si­gn sce­ne is a good thing be­cau­se it gua­ran­tees the sec­tor broa­der sco­pe for com­pa­ri­son. He is equal­ly con­vin­ced de­si­gners should not ha­ve ab­so­lu­te po­wer and that the suc­cess of a pro­ject doe­sn’t ever de­pend on one sin­gle person but on a team com­pri­sing the ow­ner, yard, de­si­gner and na­val ar­chi­tect.

Pasz­ko­w­ski says that the fact that boa­ts are be­co­ming in­crea­sin­gly ali­ke is not be­cau­se de­si­gners are co­py­ing ea­ch other but sim­ply fai­ling to do their re­sear­ch. “In­ven­ting so­me­thing new is not as easy as it may look,” he ex­plains. “In our sec­tor, we pe­rhaps don’t ha­ve the kind of tech­no­lo­gi­cal and sty­li­stic re­sear­ch that ge­ne­ra­tes in­no­va­tion but whi­ch you do see in other sec­tors su­ch as car de­si­gn.” He adds: “In ya­cht de­si­gn, the de­tails that don’t spring to the fo­re at fir­st glan­ce are what usual­ly ma­ke the dif­fe­ren­ce.”

Pasz­ko­w­ski is la­co­nic about fu­tu­re pro­jec­ts. Th­ree de­si­gns by his stu­dio will be pre­mie­ring at the Mo­na­co Ya­cht Show: the new Cu­stom Li­ne 120, Tan­koa’s 72-me­tre So­lo and the stun­ning 48-me­tre Ba­gliet­to T-Li­ne. Two fur­ther de­si­gns, a 55-me­tre di­spla­ce­ment and a pla­ning 46 Fa­st Fly for Ba­gliet­to, are cur­ren­tly in build. The­re are a few other craft in the mix about whi­ch the de­si­gner re­mains tightlip­ped, ho­we­ver. On­ly ti­me will tell…

«The suc­cess of a pro­ject doe­sn’t ever de­pend on one sin­gle person» «La riu­sci­ta di un pro­get­to non di­pen­de qua­si mai da una so­la per­so­na»

Moka, the San­lo­ren­zo 460Exp. Pa­ge op­po­si­te, from top: Saet­ta for Tan­koa and Mo­na­co Wolf for Hee­sen.Moka, il San­lo­ren­zo 460Exp. Pa­gi­na a fian­co, dall’al­to: Saet­ta di Tan­koa, e Mo­na­co Wolf di Hee­sen.

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