An interview with Diego Burdi
The interior designer of ENTOURAGE
Photo credits: Guillaume Plisson
When Diego Burdi, the co-founder and creative director of the Toronto-based design studio Burdifilek, was asked by the Owner to design the custom interiors of his new Amels 60, he initially thought it was a joke. Four years on and that said superyacht interior is now complete, and Diego is keen to share how much fun and laughter there really is in superyacht interior design.
“When I spoke to the Owner for the second time about his superyacht, I realised he was serious, and I said yes. Yes, I will design your yacht! This type of work is a different canvas, and I loved it. It all started at the superyacht show in Florida. I explained to the Owner how they could take a completely different approach towards the interior. A complete new way of thinking to what he had witnessed so far. I think that that was what really hooked him. It wasn’t that I had not seen beautiful yachts at the show, I just did not see beautiful edited pieces.”
If you ask around as to who is the must-have design studio for commercial interiors linked to global brands, Burdifilek is the name you’ll hear over and over. They, Diego Burdi alongside partner Paul Filek, are the creative strength behind some of the most dynamic and commercially proven retail and hospitality brand environments around the world. Yachts on the other hand were a whole new ball game.
Burdifilek has become an award-winning interior design firm based in Toronto, Canada, that has a fresh vision focused on innovation. For Burdi, his work has always been on the frontline in client liaison and as a result, he counts his ability to understand his clients’ goals and creatively translate them into immaculately appointed spaces as an asset to the studio.
Embracing the whole seafaring world, Burdifilek studied the uniqueness of the yachting industry and went to work to really understand what designing a yacht is all about. The comprehensive models and drawings Amels provided of the second 60-metre Amels Limited Editions were analysed.
“To fully understand and implement the Client’s wishes and requirements, I needed to develop a complete storyline,” adds Diego. “This was a well-seasoned yacht Owner so expectations were very clear and concise from the start. Translating that into the unique environment of a superyacht was new for me and my team but also a very exciting opportunity.”
Diego took to creating a highly customised interior, very specific to the Owner’s exacting needs but with a global vision. Something he was used to doing with his commercial projects. A design ambition that transcended the expected boundaries of yacht interiors.
“Tranquillity and elegance throughout were essential and taking the art collection into account and bringing everything to the next level were non negotiables. The Owner knew exactly how he wanted to entertain and how he wanted the flow through the spaces to be. We were lucky because it wasn’t everybody’s first time. It was only our first time. That said this also enabled us to bring something new to the table,” says Diego.
Buildings, luxury department stores and branded environments are all a very different working habitat to that of a shipyard. Shore side and with the complexities of so many craftsmen and women working together to challenging timelines and limitations such as space, access and yacht building processes, this was a long way from Burdifilek’s natural comfort zone. Nevertheless, working with a shipyard instead of a contractor turned out to be a positive experience for Diego and his team.
“The confidence of Amels, built on a history of shipbuilding, is empowering. By collaborating with their well-seasoned team, it all came together. The challenge for us was mainly ergonomically. We looked at many different compositions, we went through a variety of programming modelling scenarios for the yacht, until we got to a happy place for every zone. Everything needs to be seaworthy. I wanted to create something delicate, I just had to keep that in mind.”
Shift in perspective
And now out the other side of the whole process, it is clear that this is a journey and project that brought a lot of joy and fun to Diego. It may have started with what he thought was a joke, but the end result is something that will always bring a smile to his face.
“Every deck on this Amels 60 is a beautiful experience, reflecting the Owner, and flowing together in harmony. When the sun sets, the yacht transforms, shifting from day to night, evoking a different feeling altogether. Her interior stands out because she doesn’t fall under the today’s yacht world’s prescriptions. She triggers something you can’t explain because she isn’t like any other. And that is what I love. The feeling she evokes when you see her. We have been bitten by the bug, for sure,” he concludes.