Francesco Paszkowski: I haven’t been without a pencil in my pocket since I was a boy

He likes freehand drawing and manages to find the right balance of elegance and functionality in every project
Apr 16 2024 • by Victoria Struts 13 minutes to read
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Francesco Paszkowski

 “If you knock my socks off, I’ll order a boat from you”

These were the words that Francesco Paszkowski heard from one Austrian gentleman, browsing his album with the sketches that he had brought to show to Baglietto director. And they were not even yachts, but cars. 

M/Y Opus (28 m, Baglietto, 1994)
M/Y Opus (28 m, Baglietto, 1994)

The result was the launch of the 28-metre M/Y Baglietto Opus in 1994, as the ambitious debutant managed to get his first customer. And the model did have extraordinary design for the time: the planing hull with an open deck looked like a zoomed speedboat. The yacht was really fast, but preserved the comfort of a cruising yacht inside. That is how Paszkowski became a permanent partner of Baglietto shipyard.

M/Y Ridoc (19 m, Baglietto, 2017)
M/Y Ridoc (19 m, Baglietto, 2017)

Could a person who was born in Milan and raised in Florence in the family of a graphic designer have chosen another, less creative career? “I haven’t been without a pencil in my pocket since I was a boy. I drew anything that attracted my attention wherever I was”, he confesses. On learning the first lessons from his father and getting a degree in architecture, Francesco joined Pierluigi Spadolini’s architectural studio. His son, Tommaso Spadolini, who is also a top yachting designer these days, was the head of the naval direction. The newcomer started as a drawer: late in the 1980s the sketches were still drawn by hand, and then he painted them.

Up to now Paszkowski believes that a sketch made by hand is an essential stage for design creation: “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”.

M/Y Solo (71 m, Tankoa, 2018)
M/Y Solo (71 m, Tankoa, 2018)

In 1990 he founded a studio of his own, Francesco Paszkowski Design, and started with various things: interiors, objects, cars. The dialogue quoted at the beginning of the article took place a year later. And since that time boats have been his key specialization: a new star has risen in the sky of world yachting.

Margherita Casprini
Margherita Casprini

Francesco Paszkowski manages to find an ideal balance between the utilitarian requirements and the aesthetics. Architect Margherita Casprini, who joined the team in 2006, took over the interiors. So, now they offer a comprehensive approach to projects with a customer receiving all in one package – from the exterior to interior layouts and décor, down to the smallest, very individual details. 

M/Y Attila (64 m, Sanlorenzo, 2019)
M/Y Attila (64 m, Sanlorenzo, 2019)

Today the studio’s portfolio boasts over 220 yachts of 24 to 72 metres. Many of them have received international awards not only for their beauty, but for the functionality, too. The Unicorn (54 m), the Saramour (61 m), the Vertige (50 m), the Pachamama (43.6 m), the Solo (72 m), the Suerte (69 m), the Attila (64 m), the Bintador (50 m) are just a few of this constellation. 

M/Y Suerte (69 m, Tankoa, 2015)
M/Y Suerte (69 m, Tankoa, 2015)

The list of shipyards collaborating with Francesco Paszkowski Design is wide now, too: in addition to Baglietto, there is Canados, Cantiere delle Marche, CCN, CRN, Custom Line, Heesen Yachts, ISA Yachts, Rizzardi, Sanlorenzo, Turquoise Yachts, Tankoa Yachts. 

Not long ago Paszkowski  signed a partnership agreement with Milan Polytechnic University to launch a number of educational programs, so that the recognized maestro could pass on his experience to young designers.

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Victoria Struts
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Victoria Struts
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