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​From the keel up, Tomas Tillberg Design advances its international reach with its complete design and execution of all public and service areas on the Korean built Ferry, TANIT. It operates the link between Tunisia, France and Italy, mainly during the summer but also during winter holidays, replacing the Habib ferry and the Elefthérios Vénizelos ferry , chartered every summer for ten years.




A project of this type will usually take around 26-30 months to complete but, designed by our international team of designers, architects and artists before being built by DSME, it took a record 22 months from contract to delivery. An achievement indeed, but what were the challenges of designing a ship in the USA, for a client in Africa, with construction taking place in Asia? Tomas Tillberg Design International (TTDI) Managing Partner Carlos Reyes:
“The development of Tanit involved highly detailed and ongoing coordination between the Tunisian Owner (CTN), the yard (DSME) and the TTDI team in USA and South Korea. In a project of this complexity there are critical aspects in almost all disciplines including management, communications, coordination, research, production, control and supervision. For instance, in relation to management and communications, we developed a detailed and streamlined process that incorporates input and decisions from the client, the project manager Chil Han Lee at the shipyard, and the architect.” The company’s experience in Asia began over 20 years ago when Robert Tillberg was asked to design a cruise ship for a Japanese owner starting a new cruise line which was to be called Crystal Cruises. “We designed all three ships for Crystal Cruises. The last of these was the first one entirely designed in our Florida office. The first ship in the series was built at the Mitsubishi shipyard in Japan.”
Nedgé Louis-Jacques shares her mthodologies regarding the difference detailed
research can make in reaching a successful a project:

“There was the extensive design research which clearly brought to successful fruition a beautiful representation of Tunisia at its best. This was evidenced by the statement from the new President of Tunisia who said, when he toured the ship, that ‘the Moorish Cafe onboard is the best in Tunis!’” Regarding production, TTDI Director of Projects David Tovar says: “The most pressing aspect was to deliver the required information to the tight and ambitious timeline. While our colleagues were sleeping in South Korea we were working to deliver critical information to them so that they could continue working as soon as they woke up. Th is process did not allow any delays for any reason.”
Design elements the team needed to pay particular attention to were those that made Tanit a vibrant expression of the new Tunisia, says TD&A senior designer and partner Nedge Louis-Jacques states: “We created interiors with everything from custom woven carpets with designs and colours fitting the Tunisian culture to an array of decorative columns, custom wrought iron balustrades, decorative Tunisian light fixtures, window and ceiling treatment and art.”
Tillberg believes much of the company’s success is due to a multicultural creative team of more than 30 experienced architects and designers. “Our designers are exceptionally creative artists, educated in architecture and interior design, as well as the arts, so we deliver above expectation in terms of aesthetics and attention to detail. They make it possible to deliver top quality drawing packages, on time, in volume and servicing multiple clients simultaneously.”
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