London-based Winch Design created a portfolio for a potential buyer who wanted a “calm, clean, modern” design fit for a wide body—a Boeing 787 or Dreamliner. The partnership never made it past the initial design phase, but Winch liked what they had started together—so much so that the team finished the design and added it to their menu of available concepts.
“Part of the aim was to get away from the feeling that you’re on a plane,” Greig Jolly, an associate at Winch who worked on what the company calls its Sky Residence, told Robb Report. “It’s comfortable, the kind of place you’ll want to spend time in, but it’s not home-like.”
The first job was to create a sense of space, which the company did by eliminating bulkheads and dividers wherever possible. “Rather than a sense of many small rooms there’s a feeling of connected spaces,” Jolly says. “We used a lot of sliding doors, which can be left open, and transparent screens. From several places there are 60- or even 100-foot views down the cabin.”
Winch also created unique window treatments—wide rectangular panels that diffuse light connected by silver mullions that almost disappear into that light.
“The screening on the windows helps get away from the feeling you’re on a plane,” Jolly says. “It creates a continuous horizontal graphic that gives the sense of one big space instead of the individual ports you typically see.”
To realize the “calm, clean” part of the initial request, the team used a lot of natural materials, warm tones and relaxed furnishings. “There’s a lot of bleached timbers and stone that play on the ideas of light and space,” says Jolly. “There are root colors but it’s more about the textures than colors.”
The muted tones are offset by what Jolly calls “pattern details,” including raised stitching and a circle motif that’s seen in everything from the entrance rotunda to the wall hangings, carpets, furniture and even arrangement of the seating areas. “They provide a richness without throwing a lot of color at it,” Jolly notes.
The end result is a spacious, residential-like cabin unlike any other in the air. Despite the initial client’s rejection, the Sky Residence is putting itself out there, waiting for the perfect match.