Ocean Liners

Ocean Liners: Getting there is half the fun!

Images of four ocean liners from the RIBA Collections

Prior to the arrival of the “jet age” and, in particular, the commercial success of the Boeing 707 “airliner” ocean liners were the dominant mode of transport between continents not only carrying passengers but freight and mail. Today only Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 (QM2) continues that line’s advertising slogan of “Getting there is half the fun!” Indeed the QM2 is now the sole ship in service as an ocean liner albeit not exclusively as she is also used as a cruise ship.

Ocean liners and cruise ships are actually different types of vessels. Ocean liners have regular ocean going routes and being built for the open oceans tend to be stronger, faster and sleeker. In comparison cruise ships tend to be much boxier being largely designed to cruise around the calmer sailing conditions of sheltered waters.

Only a handful of ocean liners now survive, including the SS Great Britain (1843), RMS Queen Mary (1934), SS United States (1951), SS Queen Elizabeth 2 or QE2 (1967) as well as a couple, MV Astoria (built as the Stockholm, 1946) and MS Marco Polo (1964), now plying their trade as cruise liners.

Illustrated here are a number of photographs and drawings of ocean liners from the RIBA Collections including several with interior designs by renowned architects including those for the RMS Queen Elizabeth by the designer of the RIBA headquarters, George Grey Wornum.

Feature by Jonathan Makepeace.

SS Normandie
Ocean Liners

SS Normandie

Click on the image above to go to the Normandie gallery.

RMS Orion & RMS Orcades II
Ocean Liners

Orion & Orcades II

Click on the image above to got to go to the Orion & Orcades gallery.

SS Oriana
Ocean Liners

SS Oriana

Click on the image above to go to the Oriana gallery.

107777 items
RIBA125866Designs for Methodist Central Hall, Storey's Gate, Westminster, London: plan at level B

 
RIBA125867Designs for Methodist Central Hall, Storey's Gate, Westminster, London: plan at level C

 
RIBA125868Designs for Methodist Central Hall, Storey's Gate, Westminster, London: plan at level D


RIBA125869Designs for Methodist Central Hall, Storey's Gate, Westminster, London: plan at level E

 
RIBA125870Designs for Methodist Central Hall, Storey's Gate, Westminster, London: plan at level F

 
RIBA125871Designs for Methodist Central Hall, Storey's Gate, Westminster, London: plan at level G


RIBA125872Designs for Methodist Central Hall, Storey's Gate, Westminster, London: plan at level H

 
RIBA125873Brill's Baths, East Street and Pool Valley, Brighton: perspective from the street

 
RIBA125874Brill's Baths, East Street and Pool Valley, Brighton: interior perspective of the circular Gentlemen's Bath


RIBA125875Municipal baths, Henry Square, Ashton-under-Lyme: exterior perpsective and plans

 
RIBA125876Municipal baths, Henry Square, Ashton-under-Lyme: main pool

 
RIBA125877Design for a textile or wallpaper showing cornflowers and leaves


RIBA125878Design for a textile or wallpaper showing stylized flowers and leaves

 
RIBA125879Competition designs for the Assize Courts, Bristol (design A): ground floor plan

 
RIBA125880Competition designs for the Assize Courts, Bristol (design A): first and second floor plans


RIBA125881Competition designs for the Assize Courts, Bristol (design A): alternative ground floor plan

 
RIBA125882Competition designs for the Assize Courts, Bristol (design A): section on line A-B

 
RIBA125883Competition designs for the Assize Courts, Bristol (design A): sections showing proposed new roof to Guildhall Court for light and ventilation


RIBA125884Competition designs for the Assize Courts, Bristol (design A): section on line A-B

 
RIBA125885Competition designs for the Assize Courts, Bristol (design A): section showing window and wall detail

 
RIBA125886Competitions design for the Assize Courts, Bristol (design A): sections showing proposed new roof to Guildhall Court for light and ventilation


RIBA125887Competition designs for the Assize Courts, Bristol (design A): front elevation to Small Street

 
RIBA125888Half-length portrait of a young man in three-quarter profile, possibly by Thomas Gainsborough

 
RIBA125889Sketch of an heroic winged figure seated on a lion looking up to a medallion portrait of King George III with St Paul's Cathedral in the background


RIBA125890Sketch of Christ in Majesty

 
RIBA125891Half-elevation of a dormer with an elaborate decoration of masks, swags, shells and foliage

 
RIBA125892Two half-elevations of dormers at the Chateau of Montceaux


RIBA125893Three half-elevations of dormer windows and, below, a semicircular decorative motif

 
RIBA125894Three half-elevations of dormer windows and, below, a horizontal decorative panel inscribed Monceau

 
RIBA125895Four half-elevations of dormer windows


RIBA125896(Top) Round-headed dormer window surmounted by triangular pediment; (below) three half-elevations of decorative elements

 
RIBA125897Three half-elevations and one whole elevation of dormers with segmental pediments

 
RIBA125898(Top) Two whole and one half-elevation of dormers; (below) part of a three-storey pavilion with part of an adjoining wing to the left