Plane Sail­ing

Bespoke - - ULTIMATE PLANE -

Project May­fair by An­drew Winch De­signs is a pi­o­neer­ing plane propo­si­tion that com­bines an ‘off-the-peg’ con­fig­u­ra­tion with per­son­alised de­signs and fur­nish­ings. It’s a faster and cheaper way to get the cus­tom jet you’ve al­ways dreamt of.

Hav­ing built up an en­vi­able port­fo­lio of su­pery­achts in­clud­ing Cake­walk, Al Mirqab and Madame Gu, An­drew Winch is un­doubt­edly one of the in­dus­try’s best-known de­sign­ers. Fur­ther­more, over the thirty years since he founded his prac­tice, he has also ex­panded be­yond the seven seas and his firm now em­ploys teams spe­cialised in avi­a­tion, ar­chi­tec­ture and in­te­rior de­sign. His lat­est project, con­ceived in col­lab­o­ra­tion with China Busi­ness Avi­a­tion Group (CBA), is some­thing he calls a “pent­house in the sky.” Their aim is to bridge the di­vide be­tween a stan­dard man­u­fac­turer’s jet and a fully cus­tomised one. To that end, Winch has con­cep­tu­alised de­signs for Boe­ing Busi­ness Jets and Air­bus Cor­po­rate Jets, which clients can sub­se­quently cus­tomise in terms of ex­te­rior and in­te­rior de­tails, but all within pre­de­ter­mined pa­ram­e­ters. This may sound fairly ob­vi­ous but it has ac­tu­ally never been done be­fore and the ad­van­tages of such a semi-cus­tom so­lu­tion in­clude a sub­stan­tial re­duc­tion in cost (pre­dom­i­nantly as­so­ci­ated with engi­neer­ing, de­sign and pur­chas­ing) in ad­di­tion to a sig­nif­i­cant drop in the turn­around time from pur­chase to de­liv­ery. “This is about de­liv­er­ing a pre­mium life­style to the most dis­cern­ing client – a home-from-home in the sky,” says Winch, speak­ing from his for­mer fire sta­tion head­quar­ters in Lon­don on the banks of the River Thames, “and even with a pre­con­fig­ured in­te­rior ar­chi­tec­ture, we can still pro­vide clients the cus­tomi­sa­tion they de­sire.” Named Project May­fair, since Winch says the con­fig­u­ra­tion took in­spi­ra­tion from the renowned lux­ury ho­tels found in this area of Lon­don, it’s clear to see that his large bar and ad­join­ing lounge are rem­i­nis­cent of the fluid spa­ces of a ho­tel suite. You en­ter the jet via a dra­matic en­trance vestibule (formed by an­gled bulk­heads), be­yond which there’s a main sa­loon with a din­ing ta­ble and the afore­men­tioned cir­cu­lar sky­light-lit bar, and at the rear is an owner’s cabin with a con­nect­ing bath­room. There’s an ex­pan­sive feel­ing of space and that’s largely thanks to Winch’s dy­namic open-plan de­sign that he em­pha­sises can be eas­ily ad­justed in case you’re fly­ing for busi­ness or leisure. For ex­am­ple, the cin­ema con­verts into a sec­ond bed­room, the din­ing room can also be used as a meet­ing room and there’s a us­able fixed side-ta­ble that con­verts into a games board. The pre­lim­i­nary mock-up of May­fair’s de­sign that we’ve shown here utilises dark high-gloss ve­neers, golden onyx, satin, leather and Loro Piana cash­mere, and even though it is lav­ish it’s also far from pre­ten­tious. Os­car Wilde once said, “I’m a man of sim­ple tastes. I’m al­ways sat­is­fied with the best.” He’d be a happy chappy in this plane.

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