Why Tillberg Design of Sweden is always evolving

A true master of cruise ship design, Tillberg Design of Sweden has remained at the forefront of the industry for over 50 years. Owner Fredrik Johansson explains how to Lindsay James

Why Tillberg Design of Sweden is always evolving
Tillberg Design of Sweden have worked with The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection to design their new ships

This article was first published in the Autumn/Winter 2019 issue of International Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

Since it opened its doors in 1964, Tillberg Design of Sweden has evolved and grown at a phenomenal rate and is today pegged as one of the world’s most respected mainstays of luxury cruise ship design. Its team of over 115 architects and designers are located in studios in Sweden, Poland, the US and Singapore, and boast an enviable client list spanning some of the biggest names in the cruise industry. “We’ve come a long way,” says Johansson. “Our success is a result of our ability to deliver environments that improve our clients’ businesses. They can be cutting edge contemporary or timeless and classic, but the real purpose of our design is always twofold – to improve the guest experience and to eventually boost the clients’ appeal and profitability.”

These fundamental principles are at the heart of TDoS’s designs for the world’s first battery-powered cruise ship – the new Hurtigruten hybrid Roald Amundsen, which set sail for the Artic in July this year. “We’ve focused on sustainable, timeless and inherently Scandinavian modern design throughout the whole ship,” explains Johansson. “Functional solutions are created using the very best natural Scandinavian materials, resulting in a truly sustainable experience for guests at sea.”

Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam has been delighted with the results. “This opens a new chapter in maritime history,” he said. “Roald Amundsen is the first cruise ship equipped with batteries, something deemed impossible just a few years back. With the introduction of MS Roald Amundsen, Hurtigruten sets a new standard not only for cruising, but for the entire shipping industry to follow.”

This comes hot on the heels of a number of flagship projects for the design firm, including work for three new ultra-luxury ships for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. “We have worked with The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s parent company Marriott for a number of years, having designed hotels for the group,” explains Johansson. “So, we felt at home from the start of the project, and we were trusted with the entire design of these yachts, exterior, interiors, even shaping the onboard service principles. In essence, we have been creating a whole new brand from scratch together with the client and the Marriott Group. We think the results have become a bit of a game changer in the industry, which we are very proud of.”

The three 26,500gt, 298-passenger yachts will enter service in early 2020 and each feature five dining rooms, including a three-star Michelin concept restaurant, The Ritz-Carlton spa, a marina aft and a pool or plunge pool in every outdoor public space. The smallest suite is 379 square feet including private terrace – significantly larger than other vessels.

As well as evolving its clients’ brands and designs, TDoS has also evolved its own visual identity. “It was about time to redesign ourselves too,” says Johansson. “We wanted to create a new visual identity that reflected our sharpened focus on our clients. The new design is built around a logotype made up of thin intersecting lines, creating a timeless brand mark that combines our 1960s heritage with modern design. The light Nordic design also stands for simplicity and transparency, two of TDoS’s core values.”

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Lindsay James
By Lindsay James
Thursday, November 7, 2019

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