Andrew Winch: “Let's have a go!”

He is sometimes accused of being excessively mainstream, or of an annoying wish to grab each and every opportunity, or of love for super-expensive and luxurious, but ‘heavy’ interiors. Nevertheless, Winch remains one of the greatest modern designers of our time, and his studio is never short of orders
February 14 2024 • by Victoria Struts 4 minutes to read
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The interior design of the sailing yacht Cyclos III (1990, 42.36 m) was one of the first works of the Andrew Winch studio

Andrew Winch is that lucky person, who has known his vocation from a young age

Andrew Winch has literally grown up on the sea, as he used to spend summers in his father’s 12-metre Beneteau, sailing the Solent, which is known for quite intense shipping and is a kind of a sailing mecca in Britain. After he got his degree in 3D Design from Kingston College of Art, he went to the Caribbean as a skipper on a charter sailing yacht to learn more about yachting. On coming back, he found a job as an apprentice for acclaimed yacht designer, Jon Bannenberg, and as the young man already had quite a lot of practical experience, he became a sailing boat manager. Six years later he started a studio of his own.

Andrew Winch Designs studio team in 1986
Andrew Winch Designs team in 1986

 Thus, in 1986 there appeared Andrew Winch Designs (the name was shortened to Winch Design in 2015), where Andrew was in charge of design, and his wife Jane became a manager. At first, they only wanted to design sailing boats and started with smaller ones: the Swan 36, the Camper & Nicholson’s 45, the Cyclos III. But soon they realised that the studio would not survive on sailboats alone, as the market of motor boats was considerably larger.

The interior design of the sailing yacht Cyclos III (1990, 42.36 m) was one of the first works of the Andrew Winch studio
The interior design of the Cyclos III (1990, 42.36 m) was one of the first projects for Andrew Winch's studio

They took on all orders regardless of the size. Then customers started offering them architectural projects, and once they were even asked to design a jet interior. Winch never missed any opportunity, and later confessed that “Let’s have a go!” became his motto for life. 

The interior of the private jet, designed by Winch Design
Private jet interior by Winch Design

That very first Boeing Business Jet (BBJ 2) laid the foundation for his aviation portfolio, which was later enriched with private Airbuses, Dassault Falcon 7Xs and helicopters. Among the shipyards that the studio has collaborated with there are such industry giants as Abeking & Rasmussen, Amels, Benetti, CRN, Feadship, Heesen, Holland Jachtbouw, Lürssen, Nobiskrug, Oceanco, Overmarine, Peters Schiffbau, Vitters, Jeanneau Yachts.

The 99-meter superyacht Madame Gu was completely designed by Winch Design (Feadship, 2013)
The 99-meter Madame Gu was completely designed by Andrew Winch's team (Feadship, 2013)

Today’s Winch Design office is in the Old Fire Station in London with a view on the river Thames, and there are over 100 employees. It is one of the few design studios to work successfully with vessels exterior, interior and refit, as well as ground architecture and business jets. Almost all the yachts created by his team get international awards for their design. And many of them are part of Top 100 largest yachts of the world. Among Andrew Winch’s landmark projects there is the 156-meter Dilbar, the Al Mirqab (133 m), the Tis (111.5 m), the Madame Gu (99 m), the Here Comes The Sun (89 m), the Phoenix 2 (87 m), the Amatasia (85 m), the Excellence (80 m), the Hermitage (68 m, developed in collaboration with Espen Øino), and the 60 m Slipstream and Cloud 9. 

Andrew Winch's studio was created the interiors of the 156-meter superyacht Dilbar (Lürssen, 2016)
Andrew Winch's studio created the interiors of the 156-meter Dilbar superyach (Lürssen, 2016)

Winch’s artistic credo is to create spatial energy, to evoke emotions, and make interiors not only beautiful, but well-balanced. In design community he is often accused of being too mainstream, but perhaps it is him, who sets those trends that become mainstream with time? Anyway, Andrew Winch is still in great demand and is very unlikely to get off the best modern designers’ pedestal. 

Andrew Winch
Andrew Winch
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Victoria Struts
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Victoria Struts
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