By Jochem Kaan
Interior photos by David Churchill
When a yacht is named Kaiser, one might easily assume a vessel to be regal, refined and maybe somewhat untouchable. Undoubtedly sparking one’s imagination as to what this yacht’s final result is like, equally interesting is the process preceding the launch of a newly built yacht. Finding a basic idea, developing a concept interesting and substantial enough to nurture into a complete yacht, and finally setting out to design a superyacht which is flawless in her smallest details and perfectly balanced in every way.
When setting out for designing and producing Kaiser, German based shipyard Abeking & Rasmussen, and interior designers Bannenberg & Rowell, met up with the current owner several times, which lead to a starting point best described by the owner as “German style”. This being a rough concept of what Kaiser was supposed to be all about, the B&R design team set out to researching how to define this style, translating it from concept into a solid, substantial design. These visual journeys varied from the styles of Mercedes to Bauhaus and were finally materialized as a design concept that needed to be imposing, relatively conservative, oozing inherent quality and substance. With a concept as promising and intriguing as this one, curiosity is surely activated to find out what Kaiser is all about.
As the design team pointed out at Kaiser’s launch party, this was a first for Bannenberg & Rowell in several ways, not in the least because of the research done into WWI Kaiser-class battle ships, searching military imagery and trying to translate these pictures into a substantial design philosophy. Notably, out of this melting pot of visual research came the vessel’s current ribbon-motif, in the form of a linear sequence of coloured bars, for instance found on the vessel’s superstructure underscoring the superyacht’s name, as it were a military medal ribbon.
Walking through Kaiser’s rooms, starting with the main saloon, one is instantly welcomed into a atmosphere of softness and warmth, without losing a certain pleasant sense of reservedness. The extensive sofa configuration is one of the main saloon’s distinct features, carried out in such a way at the owner’s request to hospitably and comfortably accommodate a close circle of family and friends onboard. The amply present and luxuriously sizeable furniture placed in the main saloon, as well as the carpeting, are done in a pallette of saturated colours which is surprisingly balanced and an indispensable element of the vessel’s interior design. Placed against a backdrop of indigenous West African Ovangkol hardwood panelling and centered around a smoothly shaped and invitingly solid coffee table designed in the vessel’s signature visual idiom, an interior is created that is strong yet smooth and soft, solid and very inviting.
The forward end of the main saloon houses the inside dining area, comfortably seating a group of twelve, set in a strong circular theme. Continuing the interior style as seen in the main saloon area, one experiences a variety of different luxury materials, textures and patterns, all of which give Kaiser’s interior her unique qualities of regality and personal appeal, giving her a specific and extraordinary yet surprisingly familiar and welcoming atmosphere.
From this room, both the main deck pantry and main deck lobby can be reached.
The master suite, which manifests the vessels signature style in an appropriate, more informal variation, uniquely feeling intimate yet grand. In the bedroom, the latter is mainly due to the fact that, at the owner’s request, no loose pieces of furniture were to be incorporated into the design. With detailing as exquisite as in every other room onboard this noble vessel, one must thoroughly appreciate this refined and coherent interior design which, throughout the entire yacht, oozes calm authority in a subtle yet steadfast way.
Entering the owners en suite bathroom, executed in a splendid translation of the vessel’s distinguished living quarters style, an evenly consistent, refreshing and intricate design can be appreciated, using an array of well balanced colours, materials, structures and shapes to combine into a pleasantly vibrant atmosphere which is equally warm and comforting as it dignified and delicately reserved.
Calm authority and subtly dosed hospitable playfulness is continued throughout Kaiser’s guest cabins, combining a majestic yet intimate collection of materials, rich timber panelling, ecru linen panels and complex patterns into sheer personal joy. A stay on Kaiser is nothing if not extremely comfortable, wrapping her guests in a soothing cocoon of atmospheric luxury that seems to have a certain otherworldly appeal to it. In a way, this vessel seems firmly fixed contemporary style, offering every amenity imaginable, yet there is a visionary reflection of untouchable appeal to it, as if she shows us a vision which is part dream, part reality.
One of her many notable features, Kaiser’s sky lounge offers a delightfully fresh take on the vessel’s German style, offering space for private dining, watching TV and sitting at the indoor bar. As with every room onboard, integral comfort was key.
Outside, the vessel features a grand sun deck. Divided into several different areas, on the forward part a private Jacuzzi, sunbathing pad and a large bar. Through a dumbwaiter directly connecting the sun deck and the galley, guests are easily tended upon by the crew. The aft area can be shaded by removable awning, providing shade to an enormous sun deck, where various sun loungers can be found.
Concluding, Kaiser is a perfect example of yet another successful cooperation between highly accomplished teams of Bannenberg & Rowell and Abeking & Rasmussen. Setting out for a new style, the design of Kaiser is truly transcendent yet very personal, a unique accomplishment that makes you wonder what interesting ventures these teams will have in store for us in the near future.