From old-fashioned to ultra-contemporary

News — 23.07.19

German designer Tim Callies was commissioned to develop the interior refurbishment concept for a 2001 Bombardier Global Express. Modern with a hint of Art Deco, the result is stunning. Here, Callies talks us through the process. 

Early in 2018, CALLIES GRÄFE DESIGN was contracted by one of their customers to develop an interior refurbishment concept for a Bombardier Global Express, manufactured in 2001.

“The existing interior and materials were in good shape as the last refurbishment was only four years old,” says Callies. “However, the red and beige colours did not appeal to our client’s taste at all. We had previously refurbished his villa (2016) and were well aware of his taste for modern, timeless interiors with a hint of Art Deco.”

“We started working on the veneer, as this was the core of the existing colour concept. First concepts were to replace or stain them. Reviewing the impact of costs and time by re-veneering all furniture, we finally had to decide that within the very limited downtime of three months, the best solution would be a paint finish. In the end, using a high gloss black finish helped us give the cabin a little touch of Art Deco.”


Stone flooring

“Having decided with our client on the main colour, we then selected the surround materials. For the flooring in the entry and lavatories as well as for the galley countertop and washstands, we used the same Granite Stone (Belvedere) that we had selected for the customer’s residence. For the carpet we selected 100% dark silk. This not only gives the cabin a very exclusive appearance with its different shading but it also allows for the highest comfort when walking barefoot. Accents in warm grey tones of contrasting colours for the soft materials, such as fabrics, leathers and faux leathers balance out between ‘black’ and ‘white’.

The biggest challenge has been the new design and comfort for the seats. The possibilities to modernise the appearance of the upholstery are surprisingly more limited than expected. Changing thicknesses of the upholstery foam or shapes of the armrest, backrest and seat cushion can only be done in a very little range without losing the seat manufacturer’s’ certification, which would have caused a huge amount of extra costs and longer downtime for the completion phase. We worked on several mock-ups until we reached a good compromise for our customer within the given possibilities.


“We started on the veneer, as this was the core of the colour concept.”

The sofa design was much easier as it wasn’t certified for TTOL and we were able to fulfil the owner’s wish to have a softer and deeper seat cushion.

In a short three months downtime at FAI Technik in Nürnberg, the whole cabin was successfully transformed from an old fashioned, classic interior into an elegant, modern and welcoming interior benefiting from state-of-the art equipment, such as KA-Band for high speed internet, on-demand movie library, LED lights, etc…


Walking barefoot: There’s nothing more relaxing than removing your shoes after a hard day’s business. Here, a dark silk carpet makes the underfoot experience divine.

“I had the privilege of welcoming our customer on-board his very first aircraft and was lucky to see his eyes glowing,” concludes Callies.

The aircraft has been back in operation for private and charter service since August 2018 and is operated by FAI Fluggesellschaft, Nürnberg.