SEP 30th 2014

Are Rolls‑Royce interiors about to get a contemporary make‑over?

It’s almost impossible to draw any comparisons between the dashboard of a BMW i8 and a Rolls-Royce Phantom. One is a highly sculptural, contemporary form, the other looks like a heavy piece of furniture that, if you tried to move it, would put your back out. Each is utterly suited to the car its sits inside of. Switching between the two in the gallery above shows that one is London City Hall, the other Westminster Abbey. (That metaphor is restricted to architecture and stops short of any political connotations.)Rolls-Royce interior

Against that backdrop, it’s fascinating to speculate as to what direction future Rolls-Royce interior styling will take with the recent appointment of former-Yugoslavian-born, Netherlands-raised Daniel Starke as Head of Interior Design at Rolls-Royce. He moves from the equivalent post at BMW i, a role he took up in 2009. To our eyes, there’s certainly no need for Rolls-Royce interiors to follow fashion or have a contemporary makeover; restrained design and sumptuous materials meet (or, as Rolls-Royce may prefer it, exceed) expectations as it is. Even the rakish Wraith doesn’t want for a more ‘sporty’ interior.

Rolls-Royce is speaking in those terms, though. Director of Design Giles Taylor says: ‘[Starke’s] considerable design experience, proven track record and contemporary thinking are an ideal match for the world’s leading luxury company.’ So how will Starke handle his new role? Stick to the R-R formula, or bring in a freshly creative look? There must be an enormous pressure not to meddle for the sake of meddling, but what designer doesn’t want to bring their own flair to a project? Are we about to witness an evolution of Rolls-Royce interior design? Maybe Westminster Abbey ought to be glass-fronted…

Rolls-Royce interior

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