Njord by Bergman Design House, founded by Marie Soliman-Berglund, Albin Berglund and Sarah Colbon in 2020, has been elevating the yachting industry to new peaks for two years now with their custom luxe designs tailored to their clients. Recently, Njord spent 5 months refitting Galaxy, a white Superyacht unlike any others in the ocean.
We had the pleasure of speaking with Sarah Colbon, a veteran in the yachting industry and co-founder of Njord by Bergman Design House, about the intricate design of Galaxy, her career and what to expect in the future.
What was the inspiration behind the design of the Galaxy Superyacht?
Galaxy’s concept came from our clients’ love of life, entertainment, and creativity. The love of out-of-world experiences and the Burning Man community, Galaxy was to become their very own spaceship. A platform that could be multifunctional, a place to celebrate life and become a permanent home for them. The first-ever private members’ club theme and festival space. Galaxy, whilst keeping this universe theme, took every step of how they lived their lives and made each space onboard a place of moving senses and magical and cosmic energy.
What sets the Galaxy Superyacht apart from others?
Galaxy is no longer just another white Superyacht gracing the ocean along the French Riviera, she has been transformed into the private owners’ own floating universe, a home which encapsulates their lifestyle and a design that has never been done before onboard a yacht of this kind. Galaxy is now a destination, an entertainment platform, a design marvel that touches all your body’s senses and excites and embraces you with its energy during each step you take onboard. Galaxy will now transport her new owners into another dimension.
How did you incorporate natural elements into the Galaxy Superyacht design?
Galaxy features a host of intriguing and functional finishes throughout. Beautiful stones and coloured glass create visual spectacles, whilst bespoke fabrics and veneers add to the yacht’s individual character. Natural components such as rock crystal and entirely sustainable textiles are used throughout. The wood used in the flooring was specifically chosen to simulate the sensation of waves beneath the feet and to heighten the senses. Every bespoke piece of furniture on board is made of natural materials, helping achieve the owners’ vision. All materials used are from natural elements such as rock crystal and fully sustainable fabrics. The furniture is completely organic, designed by Njord and produced by BlackBerg Collection.
What is your favourite cabin on the yacht?
Personally, my favourite feature is the ‘wow’ experience of the main salon that turns into a private nightclub. During the day, it serves as a place for meditation space and a lounge to gather friends and watch movies. It’s a very special place, one I’ve never experienced on a yacht before now. The art piece by Joseph Klibansky of “The Thinker” is the main inspiration for this space. Dylan Cole, whose work features in Disney blockbusters such as Avatar, designed the incredible wall covering. It is the first time he has ever worked on a yacht. With everything in the space created like a piece of art, it’s truly an out-of-world experience; it’s a gallery within itself.
The artistic elements on the yacht are quite impressive, what are some of the notable pieces and artists?
- A wall covering by Dylan Cole, the artist renowned for creating the world of Disney’s Avatar, Maleficent and Superman. Designing the clients’ own ‘Pandora World’ aboard Galaxy, this once-in-a-lifetime commission was the first ever yacht project Cole has created. The wall covering covers the whole main saloon, which serves as a relaxation and yoga space by day, and the owners’ very own private members club deck for entertaining by night.
- ‘The Thinker’ sculpture by Joseph Kibansky is one of the most iconic sculpture pieces onboard Galaxy and will be the centrepiece of the whole experience. Kibansky’s ‘Baby We Made It’ turtles are onboard already and are a firm favourite!
- All materials used are from natural elements such as rock crystal and fully sustainable fabrics. The wood used in the flooring was specially selected to mimic the sensation of waves beneath the feet and enhance the senses. The furniture is completely organic, designed by Njord and produced by BlackBerg Collection.
- Exterior-wise, Njord have rebranded Galaxy’s look and feel from the nameplate logo and lifted youth into her exterior styling, with black painted mast and line accents alongside a full paint of the hull to breathe new life into her.
- Camille Hannah was commissioned for the upper saloon where she created three pieces of art that were described by the artists from sunrise to sunset. They are truly astonishing and can be backlit at night to showcase these amazing colours used. camillehannah.com
- Throughout the yacht, Njord have many special finishes and functional acoustic panels and fabrics, which are all aesthetically pleasing. From the most beautiful stones, to broken compresses and coloured glass to bespoke fabrics and veneers. The waved CNC cut timber flooring is another notable feature that stimulates the senses as guests onboard Galaxy walk on it. Every piece of furniture onboard the yacht has been made bespoke by Blackberg Collection for the client with beauty, ergonomics and durability in mind.
You have worked in the yachting industry for years, what made you decide to get involved with the design aspect?
All my life I’ve been involved in styling, fashion and design in some capacity—I can say I’m very passionate, borderline obsessed really 🙂 I have had the pleasure in my career in yachting working alongside some very notable designers and there was always something missing, almost never changing with the times or with the owners’ vision. It was an immediate love when I first met the team at Bergman, and since our creation of Njord: no designs have ever been the same as no client is the same and we are pushing boundaries and developing new waves in yacht design. It’s an exciting time ahead.
How did you get connected with Marie Soliman-Berglund and Albin Berglund to create Njord by Bergman Design House?
Marie and I first met without even remembering exactly in 2016: I had seen a design of a hotel spa and wellness retreat in Norway and instantly saw something so pure but different. I loved their ethos, and the drive in the design, projects and brands they were working with spoke volumes. Marie and I reconnected and we did a blog podcast together; then after the interview our energies connected and we spoke about dreams and visions in design in yachting, Albin, as Marie’s partner in Bergman Design House and her husband, agreed we should progress and partner to create a yachting arm named Njord. The rest is history 🙂
How has your PR background helped with this new venture?
Hugely, without it interrupting my desire of growing the business. We also have our own PR expert consultant Charlotte Rous, and this combined with my contacts in yachting and my previous neutrality has given us the reach in our messaging that we are achieving today. Combining this with Charlotte’s contacts in luxury travel and mainstream media is brilliant for our brand exposure and for our clients’ projects.
What other projects do you have coming in the future?
We are blessed to be working currently with some very exciting projects and wonderful clients. As well as collaborating with some true innovators of the yachting industry! Additionally, we are designing some very special masterpieces in refit and new build and conversions, which is also very inspiring. We hope to wow you all very soon with some really impressive designs on the water and truly impressive owners and teams who we are very excited to be working with.
To discover more, visit: bergmandesignhouse.com/njord
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All imagery courtesy of Njord by Bergman Design House.