Pierangelo Andreani is a practical and simple designer, a natural talent able to give things the right shape
by Francesca Ciancio – photo by Andrea Muscatello
FORMERLY A CAR DESIGNER AND NOW A BOAT DESIGNER, PIERANGELO ANDREANI IS A CALM MAN WEDDED TO SPEED. He has always been enthused by anything dynamic and over the fifty-year course of his career, he has given shape to countless moving dreams.
«The more you design, the more details emerge. I’m therefore no longer tied to a single, monolithic initial idea. I have no time for futile flights of fantasy».
His work is relatively free from frills and this is apparent when visiting his studio in central Sondrio: a white space permeated by slanting light, featuring framed pictures of some of the sketches he has produced over the years, with a few small models on display. Colour is provided by wax crayons and pencils, but also by his own account of his career, which is sometimes amusing, always frank, and completely free from self-praise. He rattles off episodes that seem to be a pure sequence of events and yet you realise that some of the most iconic cars of the past bear his signature.
What has changed radically in his professional life is the environment inhabited by his creations, switching from road to water. Everything seems to have been straightforward for the designer from Valtellina. Or so it appears. There is no doubt that his great talent must have helped him along the way. Pierangelo talks about the portraits he drew of his school friends and then his countless drawings of cars. He also grew up in a family wheredesigning and making things represented their daily bread, thanks to the longstanding family firm operating in the field of building cladding. Clay, casts and carvings were all familiar objects. There was no time or desire to go to university. Although his father encouraged him to take up architecture, Pierangelo stopped with a surveyor’s diploma and began working as soon as he was old enough.
«In the 1970s», recalls the designer, «if you wrote to companies, they might reply to you. Something unthinkable today. I received replies both from Pininfarina and the Centro Studi Fiat, where I remained for a year and a half, in what was a sort of purgatory for me». Effectively speaking, Andreani does not have a particularly positive recollection of his experience in Turin: «A workplace full of people with friends in the right places, a lack of meritocracy and a lot of bureaucracy. It’s difficult to be creative in a climate like that». And yet he was involved in the design of what would become the Fiat Ritmo (“although the headlights were originally rectangular and not round”), but his move to Pininfarina at the moment of the launch means he is not entitled to any recognition.
«I recognise myself in the word stylist, someone who has a style. Mine is pragmatic because I’ve always worked for serial productions».
It was there that Andreani really began to understand his profession, which was also his ambition, namely to become a conscious designer, not simply applying coloured pencils in flights of fancy, but creating beautiful and practical things that meet tangible needs: «This means possessing a thorough knowledge of the materials and applying them to different everyday objects», specifies the designer. In practice, the Pininfarina world was the spark that Andreani needed to make him say “design is not just about cars” (although he designed a Ferrari for them, the Mondial 8). And so, in the mid-1970s, he moved to De Tomaso, which owned Moto Guzzi and Benelli at the time. However, it also owned Maserati and Andreani would become the “father” of the Maserati Biturbo.
His move from the solid world of the road to the liquid world of the sea came with Cranchi, one of the first shipyards to use fibreglass. «I immediately liked the idea of the seriality permitted by this material», recalls Andreani. «I discovered that I could be freer when designing boats because I was less tied to the compulsory design points of cars».
Being a conscious designer means not simply applying coloured pencils in flights of fancy, but creating beautiful and practical things that meet tangible needs.
A good thirty years of consultancy, with experience with Cagiva, Yamaha, Nissan, Toyota, SCM wood machines, and SYM scooters. «The more you design, the more details emerge», explains the designer. «I’m therefore no longer tied to a single, monolithic initial idea. Design, like action, is a source of inspiration, but the functionality of what I create remains central. I have no time for futile flights of fantasy».
«I liked the idea of the seriality permitted by fibreglass and I discovered that I could be much freer designingboats. You’re limited by ergonomics when designing cars».
The designs he follows for Bénéteau are for the interiors of the Monte Carlo 6 and 52, the Swift Trawler range from the 30 to the 47, and the Gran Turismo series from the 32 to the 45. As for the sailor field, he has signed the project of the Oceanis Yacht 62.
This concept must have attracted the French house Bénéteau, which has used the Lombard designer for many different lines since 2005. The challenge of creating something poised between dream and reality materialised in the Monte Carlo range from 34 to 50 feet, the second Flyer series, the Swift Trawler fleet from the 30 to the 47, the interiors of the MCs, and the new GTs from the 32 to the 45. Lastly came his first venture in the world of sailing, with the Oceanis Yacht 62 (launched in 2017, a total of fifty-five have already been made).
With Fountaine Pajot Motor Yachts, on the other hand, he devoted himself to power catamarans, working on the combination of performance and comfort: «Some colleagues see themselves as artists. I recognise myself more in the word stylist, someone who has a style. Mine is pragmatic because I’ve always worked for serial productions. There is always a basis to start from, which might be the ergonomics of a car, although in truth this is always rather fixed, or a budget to be respected. For me, feasibility doesn’t go against creation, but instead supports it». Effectively speaking, when looking at the sketches and models produced by Pierangelo as a boy, this attachment to reality emerges: «Of course», says the designer, «curiosity is the driving force behind everything, but what sense would it have to design things that can’t be made?».
(Andreani Yacht Design, designing liberty – Barchemagazine.com – June 2021)