As French business jet manufacturer Dassault Aviation proceeds apace towards the 2025 entry-into-service date for its ultra-long-range flagship Falcon 10X, its upgraded concept cabin is bringing home the gongs from design awards, with the latest being from the Red Dot Awards.
This striking new cabin is a look, feel and functionality upgrade from the rather more sedately classic cabin that Dassault released at the time of the business jet’s launch just over a year ago. But even more so, it is a true masterclass in drawing inspiration from a variety of meaningful sources without resorting to pastiche or even much motif.
The overall aesthetic brings real shades of Mondrian, whose Cubist period in Paris in the 1910s is just one of the influences that is very French yet very refined. Glossy whites, deep blacks, geometric shapes and primary accents in blue and yellow are inspired without being cliché. It brings a modern — and Modernist — feel to the cabin, harkening back to works by other French artists of the period like Braque, Chagall, and Duchamp. It’s très très French, in the most chic kind of way.
There’s an attractive asymmetry to the design, especially around the colours, materials and finish.
As one example, where the two sofas that convert into beds face each other across the cabin, Dassault has varied the look both in colour and in shape. One sofa has a leather armrest and a horizontal separation of the cushions, which are light grey throughout, while the one opposite has a differently shaped back form stretching only two and a third cushions across, in a darker grey.
Beyond these sofas, the pass-through to the next cabin is off-centred, with half the bulkhead wall in a vertically panelled wood (itself with a set of asymmetrical vertical shelves for books and objets d’art), then slightly more than half of the remaining space as the door, and then the rest is a monochrome all-black textured leather houndstooth on the wall.
Elsewhere in the cabin, even where seats of the same style facing symmetrically — either across the aircraft centreline or perpendicular to it — their seat fabric varies, breaking up the eye and creating a much more residential feel.
This is helped by the geometrical carpet with its bright, almost Klein blue (more French influence there), a colour that is dramatically echoed on the seating space across from the low medium-toned wood and black marble credenza that holds a massive television.
The credenza echoes other wood panelling through the cabin, whether on a bulkhead wall, the drawers under the double bed, or an accent in the seating area.
Additional accent surfaces are also coherent without being matchy-matchy or repetitive: leather-effect doors around the sink area, glossy granite-style work surface and accent bulkhead in the kitchen space, a warm neutral beige matte on a large bulkhead, a smaller bulkhead with an almost rippling curtain, and an almost invisible medium-sized bulkhead that matches the wall and ceiling material — it all works incredibly well together.
Dassault’s mix of shine is also impressive, spanning gloss (on the brilliant white kitchen and sink areas), semi-gloss (the light-catching houndstooth leather and some of the wood effect) and matte (the carpet and furniture fabrics).
This mixture of asymmetry, complementary colours and a variety of textures is bang on modern design thinking.
It feels curated and fresh when compared with pairs of the same chairs in the same design aesthestic in the same fabric and the same accent material plonked down inside the cabin, with the only variety coming from the number and direction of the chairs.
Dassault has done a fantastic job here. Not only is this clever design, it is recognisably French, and almost timeless.
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All images credited to Dassault